16/10/2013 12:17 BST

Gloria de Piero Says She 'Understands' Why Women Strip Off As She Did A Topless Photo Shoot Aged 15

Gloria De Piero, Labour candidate for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, outside Labour's campaign office in Kirkby in Ashfield before she starts her General Election campiagn trail today .

Labour's new spokesperson for women has said she 'understands' why girls strip off for photo shoots - as she did just that at the age of 15.

Gloria de Piero, the only MP ever to feature in FHM's Sexiest Women In The World list, said she needed money to buy clothes at the time, reports The Times.

She said: "I’ve always said I don’t blame the girls. I understand how they might think it would be a way out."

But she added she thought page Page 3 girls were "totally out of date".

De Piero's teenage photo shoot came to light during the 2010 election campaign. She claims she was given "amazing" support by the then-women and equalities minister, Harriet Harman.

Harman told her: "Don’t worry, it’s absolutely fine Gloria, we wouldn’t judge you for that."

De Piero, 40, has just been appointed to Ed Miliband's Labour shadow cabinet and wants to "bring women’s views... to the top table of the Labour Party".

She added: "A lot of people think politics is something that men do when they’re shouting at each other."

She also hopes to give a voice to "ordinary working" people.

In a blog for the Huffington Post UK last month, the MP for Ashfield said: "[His is speech TUC} shows that Ed is determined to open up our politics and involve ordinary working men and women in our party.

"Anyone who thinks that these people dominate the Labour Party - its selections, elections and decision-making - are not living in the real world. They are barely involved at all, and they certainly don't play a full and proper part of everything that we do.

"We urgently have to change that because having a proper relationship with these members would give us access to the biggest and best focus group - one that rival political parties could only dream of."