Labour leader Ed Miliband was embarrassed yesterday when his chief spokeswoman accused David Cameron of "pimping himself" by spending so much time on England's World Cup bid.
Katie Myler apologised after contrasting the Prime Minister's lobbying with his Government's decision to end the ring-fencing of school sport funds in England. She wrote in a tweet: "Hypocrisy of Cameron pimping himself out in Zurich whilst [Michael] Gove's school sport fiasco continues at home is breathtaking."
In a second message, Ms Myler, who tweets under the pseudonym LadyMyler, wrote: "Assume we'll win the bid. Cameron wouldn't deign to do anything as unseemly as publicly plead for something otherwise."
Later she said: "I wholeheartedly apologise for the comments. I hope England wins the bid and I'm delighted to see Prince William, David Beckham and David Cameron there." A Tory source said: "This raises yet more questions about Ed Miliband's judgment that he surrounds himself with people like this."
Tory MP Gavin Barwell said: "The World Cup bid should be about sport, not party politics. It is a shame that whilst the Prime Minister was putting England's case in Zurich, one of Ed Miliband's senior staffers was making churlish party political points back at home." Ms Myler, who worked on Mr Miliband's Labour leadership campaign, had already announced that she will leave her post this month to join public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.
A Labour spokesman said: "Katie Myler has apologised for her personal tweet. It in no way expresses the views of Ed Miliband who has been, and remains, strongly supportive of England's bid to host the World Cup in 2018."