Gloria de Piero, Labour's new spokesman for women, has voiced her disgust and upset after revealing a national newspaper has been offering thousands for pictures of her as a topless teenager.
De Piero was 15 when the images were taken.
She claims she was given "amazing" support by the then-women and equalities minister, Harriet Harman.
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Yesterday I learned that a news agency claiming to be acting on behalf of a national newspaper have offered several thousand pounds to obtain topless pictures I posed for when I was a teenager. The offer was made to the owner of a building in Bradford. I understand that he was offered money for access to the building and a further payment if the pictures were found.ADVERTISEMENT
I have talked about why I posed for these pictures in interviews before. I thought at the time it was a way of improving my circumstances. This is part of my story and part of who I am. I can’t change it now but this happened over twenty years ago.
It is now time to call off the hunt for these pictures and let me get on with the job I was elected to do, representing the people of Ashfield and serving in the shadow cabinet.
I don’t think anyone wants politics to be open only to those people who were planning their political careers in their teens. I would like to see a politics that represents our country, including many more women from all walks of life, and that is something I am passionately committed to help bring about.
No one should have to worry that something they did when they were young might prevent them from serving their community or getting involved in politics at a local or national level.
The revelation is the latest in a string of stories where politicians have taken the media to task for invasions into their private lives.
Earlier this month, Labour leader Ed Miliband demanded a public apology for the Mail's piece about his father Ralph Miliband entitled 'The Man Who Hated Britain'. He got a right-of-reply, but no apology. But Geordie Greig, editor of the Mail on Sunday, did apologise after reporters crashed a memorial service for Miliband's uncle in the midst of the media storm.
Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP, successfully headed off a story about her youthful drug taking.
In an attempt to take the wind out of the story before it was published, Mensch said it was "highly probable" she had taken drugs at the time.
"I'm sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young," she said.
She won plaudits from political friends and foes at the time for her candour.