Lads' mags too explicit for Commons

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Indy Politics

A woman MP who wants to curb the sale of lads' mags has been banned from quoting sexually explicit extracts in the House of Commons.

The magazines, such as Zoo and Nuts, shocked the House authorities with their explicit sex tips for readers, including necrophilia and wrapping a girl's head in cellophane.

Claire Curtis-Thomas, who is campaigning against pornography in magazines, was warned that if she quoted directly from Zoo today when she introduces a Bill to limit them to "top-shelf" displays in shops she would be expelled from the Commons for a week.

She has attacked the topless pictures in tabloid newspapers in the past but says the lads' mags have gone further and are now hard porn. She said Playboy magazine, which was restricted to top shelves in newsagents shops, was tame by comparison.

She had planned to use explicit references to the "unnatural" sex acts in a recent edition of Zoo but was censored by the Speaker's office. "The Speaker has ruled the language inadmissible on the floor of the House. I can use it but only with the threat of being barred for a week," said Mrs Curtis-Thomas, Labour MP for Crosby.

Mrs Curtis-Thomas, who has three children, said she had no worry about being classed as a modern Mary Whitehouse or compared to Clare Short, who campaigned against page three girls in the 1980s. "There is a very wide line between titillation - girls enjoy that as much as boys - and hardcore porn and obscenity, and bestiality and necrophilia. We are in a hardcore world where people could be prosecuted for some of these activities," said Mrs Curtis-Thomas.

"It's crude and intolerant of what an adult might find to be acceptable in a normal relationship.

"I am not concerned - if adults choose to defecate on one another that is up to them. It is not something I would want to do. But what I do object to is this literature is open to children and it's being bought by minors.

"Playboy is tame by comparison - it has some photographs of women in the nude, they are beautifully shot, they don't demean or objectify women, they are quite glamorous in their own way and there are articles about safe sex.

"But when you get to the lads' mags, which are on sale next to the Beano and the Dandy, you are in the land of hardcore porn."