Gay Labour MP Chris Bryant and James Purnell have apologised after auctioning a copy of the Hutton report, following condemnation from the House of Commons.

Mr Bryant, MP for Rhonnda and Mr Purnell, MP for Stalybridge Hyde, released a statement last night expressing regret for any distress caused after the document which investigated the death of scientist David Kelly, fetched £400 at a Labour Party auction last week.

The report, signed by the Prime Minister’s wife Cherie Blair, was described as “in appalling bad taste, arrogant and crassly insensitive” in a Commons motion and Ed Vaizey the Conservative MP for Dr Kelly’s constituency, said the auction had caused offence amongst locals.

In a joint statement, Mr Bryant and Mr Purnell said: “This was a private event. No one intended to give offence and if there is any offence, we sincerely apologise.

“We have not received any money for this item and want to make it clear we will not accept any.”

Dr Kelly, 59, killed himself in July 2003 after being named as the possible source of a BBC Radio4 news story on “sexed up” government intelligence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.