UK & World News
Gloria De Piero: Stop Topless Photo Hunt
A senior Labour politician has asked that the search for topless pictures of her as a teenager be called off so that she can get on with her job.
Gloria de Piero, who was promoted to the shadow cabinet in last week's reshuffle, admits posing for the photoshoot when she was just 15 or 16 to raise money to buy clothes.
The MP, who used to be a TV correspondent with GMTV and is now Labour's women's spokesman, has spoken openly about the photos in the past.
Their existence emerged when she was fighting for a Commons seat in Ashfield in 2010 but she was told not to worry about it by then women and equalities minister Harriet Harman.
Now she has issued a plea to the media to "call off the hunt" for the photos amid claims an agency acting for a national newspaper had offered "several thousand pounds" for them.
"The offer was made to the owner of a building in Bradford. I understand that he was offered money for access to the building and a further payment if the pictures were found," the MP said.
"I have talked about why I posed for these pictures in interviews before. I thought at the time it was a way of improving my circumstances.
"This is part of my story and part of who I am. I can't change it now but this happened over 20 years ago.
"It is now time to call off the hunt for these pictures and let me get on with the job I was elected to do, representing the people of Ashfield and serving in the shadow cabinet."
Writing on her blog, she added: "I don't think anyone wants politics to be open only to those people who were planning their political careers in their teens.
"I would like to see a politics that represents our country, including many more women from all walks of life, and that is something I am passionately committed to help bring about.
"No one should have to worry that something they did when they were young might prevent them from serving their community or getting involved in politics at a local or national level."
Miss de Piero, now 40, said this week that the memory of her own experience helped motivate her to campaign against sexism.
"I can understand why a girl might feel she has no option but to do something like that," the politician said.
She described Page 3 girls as "totally out of date" but added that she understood how "they might think it would be a way out".
Miss de Piero was one of the three female former breakfast presenters promoted in the reshuffles by the main parties last week.
Fellow former GMTV star Esther McVey was named work and pensions minister and Anna Soubry, who was once on This Morning, became defence minister.