Theresa May has been forced into an embarrassing apology after attacking the absence of a Labour frontbencher - only to learn she was receiving medical treatment.
The Prime Minister apologised “unreservedly” for questioning the absence of shadow education secretary Angela Rayner from Prime Minister’s Questions today.
Mrs May initially referred to comments made by Ms Rayner in a recent interview that Labour’s economic plans for major increases in state spending as a high-risk “shit-or-bust strategy”.
She sought to intensify her attack by highlighting the Labour MP was “not in her place on the frontbench today”.
The Labour frontbench shouted the reason for Ms Rayner’s absence, with Mrs May responding: “Oh, I do apologise.
“No, I didn’t realise the shadow education secretary was herself undergoing medical treatment. I apologise unreservedly for that comment.”
Labour said the Tory whips’ office had been told about Ms Rayner’s absence.
A Downing Street source said: “I have no information on that, I don’t know whether the whips were informed or not.”
A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said: “She is off sick this week but I think she will be back next week.”