Page 3 not right for 21st century, says Harman

Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, has criticised the continuing use of photographs of topless women in some newspapers. Ms Harman said yesterday she did not think it was the right thing for women in the 21st century to be seen as sex objects "posing in their knickers to be leered at by men".

However, the shadow deputy Prime Minister and party chairwoman, who was speaking in her new role as shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, stopped short of calling for an outright ban.

Asked during an interview on Sky News's Murnaghan programme if she thought the use of topless women in some national newspapers, such as Page 3, was still appropriate, she replied: "I don't, I am not saying that we should ban it, but I think that women in the 21st century who are going out to work, who are bringing up their children, who are playing a full role in public life, I think that the idea that women are sex objects to be posing in their knickers to be leered at by men in a national newspaper, I don't think that that's the right thing for women in the 21st century."

In the wake of the phone hacking scandal, Ms Harman said the country needed a strong, fearless press, but one that was fair, adding: "We can't have one media empire dominating everything else, there's got to be some fair competition in there and we've also got to have redress for individuals when the press get it wrong."

PA

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