Sun Hillsborough boycott: Residents across the country refuse to accept free ‘World Cup Pride’ edition of Sun newspaper

Postal staff in north-west England said they will not deliver papers in solidarity with Liverpool – where Sun is widely boycotted over Hillsborough coverage

The Sun newspaper sent out free copies to 20 million homes across England today, but some people refused to take them.

The promotion, to mark the start of the football World Cup, did not include postcodes in Liverpool, where the newspaper has seen a sustained boycott campaign over its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

But the Royal Mail has also reached an agreement with postal workers in the wider region including Merseyside, Cheshire and west Lancashire not to force them to deliver the paper if they object “on a case by case basis”.

The decision came following talks with workers at a post office in Skelmersdale, where six members of staff were at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Since it was announced that The Sun would be distributing free versions of its paper across England today and tomorrow, people from all over the country have taken to social media to express their support for Merseyside protesters.

Some tweeted images of signs put up outside their homes, asking postal workers not to deliver the 26-page “light” version of the paper.

Others went on forums to share Freepost and Customer Services return addresses for The Sun and suggested “adding a bit of slate or brick to increase the weight of the package”.

The No More Page 3 campaign, which demonstrates against The Sun displaying pictures of topless women, organised a Twitter “thunderclap” protest which it said reached nearly two million people.

It also welcomed the fact that the free version did not include a topless Page 3 model, and said: “Dear Sun, if you can do it for the world cup, you can do it forever”.

One Skelmersdale postal worker told the Liverpool Echo that managers had allowed them to vote on whether they would distribute the paper. He said: “They asked us what we felt and for a show of hands.

“Nearly everyone, even people who do not support Liverpool, are saying it shouldn't be delivered on Merseyside . . . we are refusing to deliver them on the grounds that it is The Sun.”

The Royal Mail issued a statement saying: “If there are any personal reasons why a postman or woman would not want to deliver the mailing, we would consider these on an case by case basis working closely with the Communications Workers Union.”

The Sun’s “World Cup Pride edition” is believed to be the biggest promotion of its kind in the UK, though it is not being sent to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. It is running alongside the main, paid-for paper, and largely includes World Cup-related content.

The Sun has been boycotted across Liverpool since it published an article called “The Truth” four days after the Hillsborough disaster, which called 96 people, making allegations about fan behaviour.

It published a full page apology in 2004 and then-executive chairman of News International James Murdoch issued a further apology in 2011.

Speaking to the BBC’s Media Show about the recent Royal Mail boycott, the newspaper’s managing editor Stephen Abell said: “When concerns were raised through Royal Mail, we worked out a way of dealing with it and that really has been our attitude to this.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture