The Sun drops topless Page 3 pictures from Irish edition

Irish Sun has replaced topless models with 'glamour shots' of models in swimwear

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The Independent Online

The Irish edition of The Sun has dropped topless women from its contentious Page 3, despite new UK editor David Dinsmore saying that the practice would stay because it was a "good way of selling newspapers".

Mr Dinsmore had argued that the hundreds of thousands who had signed the petition to get rid of Page 3 "have never read The Sun and would never read The Sun."

Since the images have been removed from the paper, the Dublin office has reportedly only received one complaint about women being covered up on Page 3, according to the Irish Times.

"Page 3 is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the UK and part of a package of great journalism which engages, entertains and informs in equal measure," editor Paul Clarkson told the paper.

"In the Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers’ needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland."

The move comes amid a national campaign to remove topless women from the media. The No More Page 3 campaign, spearheaded by Lucy-Anne Holmes, quickly garnered support and huge media attention, amassing over 113,000 signatures.

138 MPs also signed an open letter addressed to Mr Dinsmore that called for an end to Page 3 and argued that the images were "purely for the sexual gratification of men", which they said was unacceptable.

"We want to live in a society where the most widely-read newspaper is one that respects women. Instead, The Sun publishes Page 3, which reduces women to objects. It reduces men to objectifiers. And it reduces this country to one that upholds 1970s sexist values. We’re better than this", the letter continued.

News UK owner Rupert Murdoch had hinted at a move away from Page 3 earlier this year, after telling a Twitter user who tweeted that topless models were "so last century" that she "may be right".

Monday and Tuesday's edition instead featured pictures of former Miss World Rosanna Davison and Dutch model Sylvie van der Vaart in swimwear.

No More Page 3 are now calling for the UK edition of The Sun to follow suit. Upon hearing the news, the group tweeted: "Good morning @rupertmurdoch can we please have No More Page 3 in the UK too?"

No More Page 3 spokesperson Stephanie Davies-Arai said the group were "excited" and "thrilled" after hearing of the newspapers decision to remove pictures of topless women.

"Its a big development and a big step in the right direction, which we would hope will lead the UK Sun into making the same decision," she said.

"It just came out of the blue. We hope its partly to do with the campaigns, the petition and the raising of awareness which we believe has helped to change public opinion."

Mr Dinsmore has reportedly asked a group of female executives to “reinvent” Page 3 to make it more relevant to the 21st century. The changes could mean “more celeb pictures, more upmarket shoots and fewer nipples”, according to an insider.