Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley does not make headlines that often, but this week he had no shortage of coverage after he wrote on an official Conservative party website that recession 'can be good for us' because people tend to smoke and booze less, eat less rich food and spend more time at home with their families.

It was not only the original comments that garnered all the attention - they were removed so quickly that barely anyone had a chance to read them first hand - but the fact that, as the Daily Mail put it, "Lansley was forced into a climbdown under pressure from party bosses". He issued an apology, saying: "I totally withdraw my comments."

All this under the headline: "Blundering Conservative Andrew Lansley forced to apologise after claiming recession would be good for Britain." Just what every MP dreads.

Not tough for everyone

The Sun was quick to point out that Mr Lansley is paid£63,291 as an MP and he and his wife own a£700,000 flat in Pimlico, while Brian Reade was even more catty in the Mirror: "When unemployment really bites we know who'll be forced to eat less, Andrew, and it won't be those who get their coats checked in at The Ivy will it?"

A couple of people sprang to his defence, notably someone by the name Einsteinium, who posted on the Daily Mail website that Mr Lansley had been right. Still, he did not seem too happy that the shadow health secretary had backed down. "Grow some sodding backbones," was his advice.