Topless women have been a fixture on Page 3 of the Sun for more than four decades, but the popular feature has now been killed
Executives at the Sun have decided to quietly shelve the tradition after a baying lynch mob of critics branded it sexist.
Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad women wearing bras and pants.
The move was confirmed by The Times, a fellow News UK paper. It is understood that the parent company's chairman Rupert Murdoch signed off on the decision.
Topless models were first introduced by the Sun in 1970, less than a year after Rupert Murdoch bought the title. In recent years, the paper has faced growing criticism from miserable campaigners who claimed the feature was out of date.
According to the Guardian , executives had planned to drop Page 3 quietly, without fanfare. It is understood the change may be reversed if it causes a dramatic drop in sales.
The Sun newspaper's decision has inevitably been welcomed by miserable MPs particularly from the Labour Party.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan, who also holds the women and equalities brief, said the move was long overdue . The Conservative cabinet minister crowed:
This is a long overdue decision and marks a small but significant step towards improving media portrayal of women and girls. I very much hope it remains permanent.
Downing Street refused to be drawn on the issue. A spokesman said it was a matter for the Sun .
The move also received the backing of Liberal Democrat women's and equalities minister Jo Swinson - although she criticised the alternative content in Tuesday's edition.
I am delighted that the old fashioned sexism of Page 3 could soon be a thing of the past. I welcome this apparent step forward from the Sun, but I would encourage its editors to consider whether parading women in bikinis is really a modern reflection of
the contribution women make to society.
Labour frontbenchers including the shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, the shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and the former culture secretary Dame Tessa Jowell all tweeted support for the No More Page 3 campaign.
Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour party, who has long spoken out against the Page 3, said she would ensure that the Sun would not be able to make the announcement quietly. Speaking on her LBC phone-in on Monday evening, Harman bayed:
It will be the Sun moving into the 21st century, if that is the case. Because actually we do think in a newspaper, which is about news, the idea of girls standing there in their knickers with some sort of pseudo-political quote, I mean it really is not
the representation of women's role in this country that I want to see.
I've always been against Page 3. But bearing in mind that we've had a lot of discussion about freedom of speech and what people can report, it's my right to say I don't think it's right, I think they should get rid of it. But it is absolutely not the
role of any government to ban it. But if they've seen sense, so much the better.
21st January 2015. See article
Well it didn't take long. The man hate group Object seem raring to go against the Daily Star for its topless Star
Update: Clarifications and Corrections
22nd January 2015. See article
The Sun has been having fun with the campaigners who seized upon 3rd party reports of the demise of Page 3.
The paper ahas again featured a photograph of a topless model, which appears under a Clarifications and Corrections header and comes after a front-page panel announces: We've had a mammary lapse.
PC campaigners were a bit taken aback with the most notable comment being from Julia Churchill, a No More Page 3 supporter who tweeted:
After #NoMorePage3 it felt like we were taking a good deep breath after being held under water, and now, a punch in the face.
Nevertheless, commentators were confident that the days of Page 3 are ultimately numbered. Sources told the Guardian that the Sun had planned for the demise of Page 3 to pass under the radar. When the Guardian revealed plans to scrap it on Monday, a
senior editor quipped privately: If I were the boss, I'd put in a topless pic just to spite everybody.