A senior Labour Party member is said to be “very, very sorry” after claiming the pandemic is a “gift that keeps on giving for lawyers”.
Shadow attorney general Lord Falconer made the comment during a briefing for a City law firm, the Mail on Sunday reported.
The newspaper added that the webinar took place last June and was about “how the law has been changed by Covid”.
All politicians have to be very careful with our wordsEd Miliband
Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “He shouldn’t have said it.
“He was talking in the context of lawyers and the way the law was changing.
“It was a very poor choice of words. I have spoken to Charlie this morning and he is very, very sorry and apologises for what he said.
“It shows that we have to be careful with our words – all politicians have to be very careful with our words.
“I know Charlie very well and Charlie thinks the country has been through a terrible, terrible trauma and this in no way reflects his view about the Covid crisis.”
Lord Falconer previously held ministerial posts in Tony Blair’s government, including a spell as Lord Chancellor and justice secretary.
His remarks are the latest from a Labour frontbencher which have resulted in an apology.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green came under fire last September after saying the party should not “let a good crisis go to waste”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Labour of exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic for political gain following Ms Green’s comments.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer later said Ms Green “shouldn’t have said it” and apologised, but stressed the MP’s words had been “taken out of context”.
Meanwhile, Labour officials have distanced the party from proposals to abolish the UK’s honours system.
The Sun on Sunday reported that the Opposition wants to scrap knighthoods and all other royal gongs and replace them with a “civic award”.
A Labour source said: “This report is not and never has been Labour policy.
“This report was commissioned well over a year ago by the previous leader of the Labour Party (Jeremy Corbyn), before Keir Starmer took over. He has not seen the report.
“The constitutional commission announced by Labour is due to be launched this year. That will form the party’s offer on economic and political devolution.
“This report will not form part of it.”