A senior Labour MP has apologised to Ongar MP Eric Pickles for posting a joke on Twitter about him dying.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan tweeted the private letter he had received by former party leader Lord Kinnock about sponsoring him in the up-and-coming marathon.

Kinnock joked that Mr Khan should persuade the Conservative local communities secretary to run the marathon "so we have a helpful by-election".

Mr Khan later deleted the message and apologised to Mr Pickles.

Yesterday the Tooting MP tweeted: 'Profuse apologies to @EricPickles – I have spoken to him to apologise & am sorry. Inappropriate tweet.'

Pickles responded: 'Happy to accept @SadiqKhan apology for an inappropriate tweet. So far as I am concerned the matter is closed.'