A MEMBER of Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet has issued a plea to the media to “call off the hunt” for topless photos she posed for as a teenager.
Gloria de Piero, who was appointed Labour’s equalities spokeswoman in last week’s reshuffle, said people claiming to be acting on behalf of a national newspaper had offered “several thousand pounds” for the pictures.
The Ashfield MP - formerly a TV correspondent with GMTV - has spoken openly about the photo-shoot in the past, describing it as something she did aged 15 or 16 to get money to buy clothes.
In a message on her blog today, she said no one should be prevented from taking part in politics by things they did in their teens.
Ms de Piero said: “Yesterday I learned that a news agency claiming to be acting on behalf of a national newspaper have offered several thousand pounds to obtain topless pictures I posed for when I was a teenager.
“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.
“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.
“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.”