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Girlguiding UK welcomes cover-up of Page 3 models

Girlguiding UK has welcomed news that The Sun is covering up its topless Page 3 models.

The organisation, which has more than 500,000 young members, lent its support to the No More Page 3 campaign in protest at the impression it gives girls of what is expected of them, calling the controversial feature "disrespectful and embarrassing".

We are thrilled to hear that the Sun has decided to stop printing images of topless women on Page 3. This is a hugely positive step for girls and women and shows the difference we can all make when we speak out together.

It is impossible for girls to nurture their ambitions if they are constantly told that they are not the same as their male equivalents. This is what Page 3 did. It was disrespectful and embarrassing.

– Girlguiding UK

No More Page 3 celebrates 'important first step'

Members of the No More Page 3 campaign have celebrated an apparent decision by The Sun to cover up its models in recent days - having them pose in their underwear rather than topless.

While The Sun has yet to officially confirm or deny the reports, campaigners have called it a "great day for people power" - and said while there is more to be done, it was a "very important" first step.

We hoped to bring about a change by raising awareness of the sexism of Page 3; awareness of the way having women presented in this way [in] the news serves to reduce the importance of all women to their appearance and sexual allure; awareness of the fact that whilst sexy pictures may have a place, the accessibility of the Page 3 picture, in the front of the paper, makes access to sexualised women's bodies as much of a given as the TV listings or the crossword puzzle.

Through the shared voices of some fantastic women and men we have succeeded in keeping a discussion going about the way that this feature permeates and affects the society we all live in.

– No More Page 3

The statement added that while models appearing in their underwear was "still not equality", it indicated a shift in societal attitudes.


Jodie Marsh lashes out at 'feminists' against Page 3

Former Page 3 girl Jodie Marsh has hit out at campaigners against the controversial daily feature in The Sun, after newspaper bosses began covering up its usually-topless models.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote that the "so-called 'feminists' really annoy" her, adding:

Ex-Page 3 model defends controversial topless pictures

A former Page 3 model has come to the defence of The Sun's controversial feature, after the newspaper appeared to have quietly started covering up their girls.

Nicola McLean told ITV's Good Morning Britain she was "so sad" that Page 3 had apparently come to an end after so many years.

She said she did not feel it was a "sexual equality" issue.

I don't think it's outdated - I think the girls still look fantastic on the page, they still clearly enjoy doing what they're doing, people still want to see it.

Everybody still wants Page 3 to stay apart from the feminists that are fighting an argument I just don't agree with.

– Nicola McLean, former Page 3 girl

No More Page 3 campaign celebrates cover-up

Campaigners who called for a four-decade tradition of topless women appearing on Page 3 of The Sun are celebrating success after an apparent change in policy by newspaper chiefs.

The campaign, supported by a number of MPs as well as Girl Guiding UK, Mumsnet, and teaching unions, argued that the "sexist" images amounted to "soft porn".

The usually-topless models featured on the page have been wearing underwear for the past few days, sparking rumours of the campaign's success.

The Sun has yet to confirm or deny the reports.

Topless models absent from latest edition of The Sun

Today's edition of The Sun does not feature a topless girl on Page 3, fuelling rumours that the newspaper has decided to drop the long-standing convention.

Instead it features Hollyoaks actresses Jennifer Metcalfe and Gemma Merna wearing bikinis on a beach in Dubai.

The Times (£), which shares the same publisher, reports today that it "understands" that Friday's edition was the last to feature a bare-chested model.

There has still been no word on the matter from staff at the UK's bestselling daily tabloid.


Newspapers and YouTube want to host leaders' debate

A proposal to stage a possible 2015 General Election debate on the internet has been put forward by the Guardian, the Telegraph and YouTube.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown after a leaders' debate in 2010. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

The three main broadcasters - ITV, BBC and Sky - hosted one debate each in the run-up to the 2010 election.

However, the alliance between YouTube and the two newspapers wants to "break the monopoly" broadcasters hold on the debates and "allow innovative audience participation", according to the Guardian.

The consortium have also vowed to have a female moderator if they host a debate after three men - Alastair Stewart, David Dimbleby and Adam Boulton - hosted the events before the last election.

Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor-in-chief, said: "The digital world has become an increasingly vital democratic tool and forum for debate, and it's imperative that politicians understand and embrace the opportunities afforded to them by it."

Ex-BBC boss Byford denies 'greed' in near-£1m pay-off

Former BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford has defended his near-£1 million pay-off, saying that he had not been greedy and the broadcaster had offered him that amount.

Former BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford. Credit: PA

Mr Byford, whose salary was £475,000, received a total of £949,000 when he was made redundant by the corporation - leading to widespread criticism of the BBC.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I have done nothing wrong. I appreciate obviously and understand that it was a lot of money. I appreciate the concern and criticism about the executive payoffs."

But he added: "I absolutely don't think it was greed on my part at all."

Mr Byford, who was on the radio show to talk about his new book, a war story, said: "I lost my job. I was made redundant. I was given the terms I was given by the BBC. I left when I was told to leave by the BBC.

"After 32 years of working there, where I was devoted to the corporation, the last thing that I would ever think or feel was that I would want to have greed."

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