LONDON - A British lawmaker snapped playing children's game Candy Crush Saga on his tablet during a pensions debate apologised on Monday, saying his conduct was unbecoming of a Member of Parliament.
In a picture published by British tabloid The Sun, Nigel Mills was seen engaging in the popular pastime, swiping his tablet to make lines of sweets explode.
The Conservative lawmaker initially brushed off the controversy, telling the paper: "There was a bit of the meeting I wasn't focusing on and I probably had a game or two."
But he was later forced into a fuller climbdown after a torrent of angry reactions.
"I apologise unreservedly for my behaviour at the committee meeting and realise it fell short of what is expected of a Member of Parliament," he tweeted. "I guarantee it will not happen again."
Lawmaker Edward Leigh rallied to his colleague's side, telling critics to "get a life" and saying of his own time on the public accounts committee: "My God, it was boring!"
Even Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the controversy, saying: "I'm sure he will be very embarrassed by what he saw in the papers today and he will work even harder in the future."
Meanwhile, parliamentary officials opened an investigation into the pictures, as photography and filming are not allowed without prior permission.
John O'Connell, a spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "The issue isn't how the photos got out, but why the MP was messing around on video games."