Irish Sun drops topless women from Page Three

The Sun Campaigners against Page Three have welcomed the Irish Sun's move

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The Irish edition of the Sun newspaper has dropped pictures of topless women from its Page Three, replacing them with shots of women in swimwear.

The editor of the Murdoch-owned paper, Paul Clarkson, said the decision was taken because of "cultural differences" between the UK and Ireland.

In June, The Sun's UK editor David Dinsmore said the paper would continue to print pictures of Page Three girls.

Campaigners against Page Three have welcomed the Irish Sun's "bold move".

Clarkson, who became editor of the Irish Sun last October said: "Page Three 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.

'Huge step'

"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," he added.

The decision to ditch the pictures comes amid a national campaign to remove topless women from the British media.

A campaign by Change.org calling on Dinsmore to ditch topless models from the paper has amassed more than 106,000 signatures, while more than 113,000 people have signed a petition set up by the No More Page Three campaign, led by Lucy Holmes.

Start Quote

We are hoping that the UK Sun will follow suit”

End Quote Lucy Holmes Campaigner

One-hundred-and-thirty-eight MPs have also signed a letter to the Sun, saying they "cannot remain silent in the presence of a page that limits and misrepresents over half the population".

Dinsmore, who was appointed to the post in June, has said the majority of the paper's readers want Page Three and those petitioning for it to be dropped "have never read the Sun and would never read the Sun."

Ms Holmes described the Irish Sun's decision as a "huge step in the right direction".

"We are hoping that the UK Sun will follow suit and ultimately hope for an end to all objectifying images and a truly equal representation of women within the British press.

"We look forward to the day when women are represented with respect and are featured in newspapers for the interesting things they say, think and do, in the same way as men are," she added.

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

A spokesman for The Irish Sun confirmed the paper has received a few phone calls inquiring about the change, which took effect on Monday, but only one reader has asked for the return of topless models.

A spokeswoman for the UK Sun said the paper's position had not changed.

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