Campaigners across the UK were dealt a blow by The Sun’s provocative Page 3 today, which featured a topless woman winking under the headline "clarifications and corrections".
It had been widely believed the hotly contested segment had finally come to an end after 44 years in the newspaper's print edition.
But under the text "Clarifications and Corrections", Thursday's edition of the paper states: "Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.
“We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.”
The Sun previewed the image with the text "we've had a mammary lapse" next to "see Page 3" on its front page.
The No More Page 3 campaign group, who had all but declared victory in their battle to have the feature axed, conceded "the party will have to wait a little longer" before bare breasts disappear from the newspaper.
Writing on social media they said: "So it seems the fight might be back on. Thanks to The Sun for all the publicity they've given the campaign.“
A special hello to all of our lovely new followers. Welcome to the future - even if not everyone is quite ready yet! https://t.co/ufDebYvVuo; NoMorePage3 (@NoMorePage3) January 22, 2015
The paper, Britain's best-selling tabloid, had not published pictures of topless glamour models since Friday, instead advising readers the pictures would be available on its website.
No More Page Three campaign
No More Page Three campaign
1/5 No More Page Three
Demonstrators from the No More Page Three campaign on Westminster Bridge in London
2/5 No More Page Three
Katie Price puts her hand over Laura Bates' t-shirt which says 'No More Page Three' ahead of the panel debate 'Does Page 3 make the world a better place?' at the Women of the World event at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London
3/5 No More Page Three
Demonstrators from the No More Page Three campaign
4/5 No More Page Three
Demonstrators write protest messages in chalk on the pavement outside the News UK head office
5/5 No More Page Three
'No More Page Three' protest at News International offices, Wapping, London
After reports the paper had decided to quietly drop the feature, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Liberal Democrat women's and equalities minister Jo Swinson were among those to commended the apparent change.
Despite claims earlier this week in The Times newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns The Sun, that the feature had been dropped, the tabloid's head of public relations Dylan Sharpe had refused to confirm the move, saying “is all just speculation, it is all wild speculation”.
On Wednesday night, Mr Sharpe mocked media outlets for publishing stories about the significance of the absence of topless women in the editions without confirmation directly from The Sun itself.
Former Page 3 model turned bodybuilder Jodie Marsh, 36, was quick to respond the The Sun's editorial in a tweet to No More Page 3 suggesting they "now put your time & effort into something that actually matters like campaigning against FGM".
Ms Marsh had staunchly defended Page 3 and the rights of women to work as glamour models, arguing on Twitter: "Telling girls they shouldn't do page 3 is NOT being a feminist; women should do WHATEVER they want!!"Reuse content