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I don't think it's outdated - I think the girls still look fantastic on the page, they still clearly enjoy doing what they're doing, people still want to see it.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

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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."

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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."

Final plans for independent press standards body revealed

  • The contract which will bind publishers to IPSO and give the regulator tough powers of investigation, enforcement and sanction.
  • Regulations under which it will operate, investigate complaints and undertake standards investigations.
  • Details which set out the governance of the regulator and guarantee its independence.
  • Financial sanctions guidance under which fines of up to £1 million will be imposed.
  • Details of a new Regulatory Funding Company setting out transparently how IPSO will be funded.

Press industry: 'Issues at stake so extraordinarily high'

The decision by the Government and the Privy Council on this matter has enormous ramifications for free speech both here in the UK, and – because of our leadership role in the Commonwealth and developing world – across the globe.

The Government and the Privy Council should have applied the most rigorous standards of consultation and examination of the Royal Charter proposed by the industry, which would have enshrined tough regulatory standards at the same time as protecting press freedom. They singularly failed to do so, and that is why – as the issues at stake are so extraordinarily high - we are having to take this course of action.

– Lord Black of Brentwood, Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance

Press apply to High Court over rejected regulation plans

The self-regulation press proposal's were rejected by the Privy Council on 8th October Credit: Press Association

The newspaper and magazine industry has applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the Privy Council's decision to reject its self-regulation proposals for a Royal Charter.

A statement said "it is the clear view" of the industry’s trade associations that the application "was not dealt with fairly".

"We believe that the decision and the Order were therefore unlawful, and the industry’s associations through PressBof [ the industry body which funds the regulatory system] are applying to the High Court for judicial review and to have the decision quashed".

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