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MP slammed over Sun Page 3 'jobs for the girls' remark

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By wmn reporter

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A Westcountry MP has been criticised in Parliament for arguing that "Page 3" pin-ups provide "jobs for the girls".

Comments reportedly made by Richard Drax, Conservative MP For South Dorset, were taken to task by Labour MP Stella Creasy, who has backed a campaign to scrap The Sun newspaper's long-running feature.

He is also said to have contended that Page 3 is "harmless entertainment" and on a summer's day "finding ladies with their tops off is not a difficult task".

During Prime Minister's Questions, the Labour MP for Walthamstow asked: "I'm sure the Prime Minister is as concerned as we are on this side of the House that there has been a 42% increase in long-term unemployment amongst women in this country under his watch.

"Can he therefore confirm that the reason why he does not support the 'No More Page 3' campaign, like his colleague from South Dorset, he believes it is at least providing 'jobs for the girls'?"

In response, Mr Cameron pointed to a "quite rapid" reduction in unemployment and rising employment, and urged the MP to "get behind" the welfare-to-work programme – that he claimed is proving successful – rather than "make the point she does".

The 'No More Page 3' campaign wants to bring the 43-year-old page to a close, arguing it objectifies women, though the newspaper has said it is here to stay.

Mr Drax is reported to have made the comments when writing to a female constituent. The Huffington Post website claims he said: "Thank you for your email of today regarding Page 3 girls in The Sun.

"While I understand that some people are offended at seeing naked breasts, this particular page is something of a national institution, providing the girls with a job and Sun readers with some light and harmless entertainment.

"It certainly pales into insignificance compared to what you can see with ease on the internet and in the more graphic pornographic publications.

"And, in most parts of the UK on a summer's day, finding ladies with their tops off is not a difficult task. I certainly do not mean to underestimate your concern, but I think on balance Page 3 girls do no harm and the practice will no doubt die out on its own anyway."

Mr Drax was not available for comment.

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