Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman hit out at the Daily Mail newspaper today, after they attempted to "smear" her "by way of guilt of association" over the affiliation between a group she worked with in the 1970s and their links to a paedophile rights group. Writing on Twitter, she said:
When it comes to decency and sexualisation of children, would you take lessons from the Daily Mail?
The Camberwell and Peckham MP posted a picture of a Daily Mail article based around pictures of teen television personality Courtney Stodden photographed in her bikini as a 12-year-old child.
The consultant editor of the Daily Mail newspaper has reiterated his demand for an apology from Labour's Harriet Harman over The National Council for Civil Liberties' "affiliation" to the now-defunct Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1970s.
Appearing on Daybreak, Andrew Pierce said: "How difficult can it have been to oust a disgusting organisation like that?"
In a Newsnight interview last night, Harriet Harman denied supporting or being influenced by PIE: "It is not the case that my work, when I was at NCCL, was influenced by PIE, was apologising for paedophilia or colluding with paedophilia," she said.
Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has insisted her work has always been to protect children from child abuse, as she accused the Daily Mail of running a "politically-motivated smear campaign" against her.
The newspaper published claims that the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), a group Harman used to work for, had alleged historic links to a paedophile rights campaign.
In her first interview since the Mail published the allegations, Ms Harman told BBC2's Newsnight: "It is not the case that my work, when I was at NCCL, was influenced by PIE [Paedophile Information Exchange], was apologising for paedophilia or colluding with paedophilia.
"That is an unfair inference and a smear.
"My work has always been, when I was at NCCL and when I have been in politics and ministerial office, to protect children, especially from child abuse."
Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman was accused of issuing a denial "full of pedantry and obfuscation" by the newspaper that made allegations about her historic involvement in paedophile rights campaigns.
The Daily Mail claimed the shadow culture secretary has failed to answer the main charges it has levelled against her in a series of articles and has instead denied allegations it has not made.
It follows Ms Harman's decision to release a detailed statement accusing the newspaper of a "politically-motivated smear campaign".
A Daily Mail spokesman said: "The belated statements today of Ms Harman and her husband - full of pedantry and obfuscation - failed to answer the Mail's central points and deny allegations the Mail has not made.
"More pertinently they have failed to utter a word of contrition or sorrow about The National Council for Civil Liberties' closeness to the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange, anorganisation that validated the activities of a monster like Jimmy Savile.
"Nor do they utter a word of apology to the victims of PIE."
The Daily Mail have attempted to smear Harriet Harman "by way of guilt of association", the Labour Deputy leader has claimed in a statement.
The editor and proprietor of the Daily Mail are entitled to their political views and they are of course entitled to oppose what I stand for but they are not entitled to use their newspaper to smear me with innuendo because they disagree with me politically and hate my values.
– Harriet Harman, Labour Deputy Leader
Given the seriousness and the aggression with which the Daily Mail are pursuing me, I feel that I need to put the facts in the public domain.
– Harriet Harman, Labour Deputy Leader
Commenting on an allegation that she supported the lowering of the age of consent to 10, she said:"This is not true.
"I supported the equalisation of the age of consent (as set out in the National Council for Civil Liberties document "priorities and strategy for the executive committee June 1981") by making the age of consent the same for homosexual as well as for heterosexual sex."