Ed Miliband On Page 3: 'No Place In The Modern World For Pictures Of Topless Women In Newspapers'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has slammed Page 3
Labour leader Ed Miliband has slammed Page 3

There is no place in the modern world for pictures of topless women in newspapers like The Sun, Ed Miliband sensationally said today.

But the Labour leader said he will not ban Page 3 pin-ups if he becomes prime minister after the 2015 general election.

Miliband said he was ready to speak with Sun editor David Dinsmore about his objection to the pictures, saying he did not want his sons Daniel and Samuel to grow up in a society where women were portrayed as sex objects.

In his keynote speech to Labour's annual conference in Brighton yesterday, Miliband said women were right to object to "everyday sexism" in British society.

Asked whether this meant he would ban Page 3, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'm not in favour of banning it. I do think though that Page 3 is a total anachronism in this day and age.

"We have got a free press in this country and I think a ban on that is not right, but I will say to you very squarely, this is an issue I take very seriously.

"When I think about my two young sons - who admittedly are two and four at the moment - I don't want them growing up in a country where the perception of women and young girls that they're given is simply as sex objects."

Miliband was asked whether he was ready to speak to The Sun's editor and ask him to address the issue.

He replied: "Yes. It's a decision for him, but if you want my opinion, it's an anachronism and it doesn't have a place in the modern world."

The No More Page Three campaign has rapidly gained momentum since launching last summer, with many organised groups now following widespread public opinion.

The Girl Guides stated that "We would like the Sun to use its newspaper to promote positive role models to inspire girls and young women and help everyone to understand that women are never for sale."

The David Dinsmore: Take The Bare Boobs Out Of The Sun #nomorepage3 petition now has 119,135 supporters at the time of writing, including from celebrities Jennifer Saunders, Rebecca Front, Frances Barber, Eliza Doolittle, Alastair Campbell, Caitlin Moran and Lauren Laverne.

Blogging exclusively for The Huffington Post UK, a former topless model also advocated highlighting women's talents and abilities in the Sun, rather than just their flesh.

"When I was 18, I used nude modeling as a way to earn money to support my acting career," wrote author and mum of three Sheila Hageman.

"Was I thrilled and empowered by my job? Some days and jobs, yes, but the majority of my time was spent consumed by inner conflict about my choice.

"Just because an attractive woman decides to pose topless does not mean she's happy about it," she wrote.

However, others took to Twitter to voice their opposition to Miliband's announcement.