A dating website has apologised after it inadvertently published a spoof advert claiming to be from health secretary Alan Milburn.
According to The Mail on Sunday the joke ad was placed using online matchmaker DatingDirect.com. The spoof ad said that Milburn was looking for a "mature and discreet" relationship.
A user warned DatingDirect that the ad was a fake, and it was pulled. The company apologised and said the ad had slipped through its vetting system because staff at the website did not know who Milburn was.
A spokesman for DatingDirect said that a number of editors are responsible for checking ads, but that they obviously had not been familiar with this particular person.
"In the past we have had pictures of celebrities like Tom Cruise posted - they are easily recognisable. This must have slipped through."
A Department of Health spokesman told the newspaper: "It's one of the hazards of public life. Ministers often get subjected to this sort of prank. Obviously it is a hoax and we are glad it has been removed."
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