The Liverpool Echo has published an open letter slating the Daily Mail and Mail Online’s “sneering” headlines and “unflattering” photos of racegoers each year during the Grand National at Aintree, which starts today.
The Reach-owned daily claimed the Mail titles have an “agenda” to “make a mockery of those daring to have a good time” by publishing photos of women looking worse for wear or pictured at awkward angles.
The Echo already refers to The Sun as “The S*n” in a snub to Britain’s best-selling newspaper, which faces a city-wide boycott and a press ban from Liverpool Football Club over its past Hillsborough Disaster coverage.
Today’s appeal was written as an open letter to the Daily Mail’s journalists and photographers, but also took a swipe at the Mail Online’s “Sidebar Of Shame keyboard warriors”.
It was penned by two Echo journalists, online content writer Amy Browne and retail and leisure reporter Catherine Murphy, in defence of Liverpudlian women – Aintree is based on the outskirts of Liverpool.
The letter said: “Aintree’s Grand National festival is one of the biggest race meetings in the world and there is so much positive coverage you could give to the event.
“Instead you choose to insult, ridicule and put down the women of Liverpool… Frankly, we’re tired of the negative coverage – our girls deserve better.”
It warned: “So, if you can’t let them enjoy themselves without making fun of them, you’re not welcome in Liverpool anymore.”
A petition was launched three years ago for the Mail to apologise “to all the beautiful ladies at the Grand National” which reached more than 7,000 signatures.
Mail stories have repeatedly reported on “worse-for-wear” women leaving Ladies Day, although in 2017 Mail Online published a comment piece defending their “swagger”.
A story published today has pictured women wearing what it described as “plunging dresses with VERY daring hemlines”.
Other tabloids have published similar lines and photos as the Mail in the past. The Echo is owned by the same publisher as the Daily Mirror.
Last year a Sun headline read: “Grand National Ladies Day gets messy with booze-fuelled limbo and groping at Aintree racecourse.”
And in 2017 the Star wrote: “Glam girls flash flesh and hit the booze as they bask in Grand National heatwave.”
The Mail declined to comment.
Picture: Reuters/Peter Powell