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Louise Mensch claims any newspaper publishing topless shots of a Labour MP will face ‘humiliation’

By Darren Boyle

A former Tory MP said any newspaper that printed topless photos of Gloria de Piero will face ‘humiliation’.

A news agency has been trying to source photographs of de Piero for several days.
However, former MP Louise Mensch told the Today show on BBC Radio 4 that it would be a mistake to publish the photographs.

"She doesn't think they should be printed and I agree with her completely. She says she was 15, which I think is not of an age that one should be printing those kinds of pictures.

"I don't think it matters whether they print the pictures or not. If they do it will only be to her credit. Her dignified response and refusal to renounce her past only speaks well of her character and her guts and that's the kind of people we want in politics. Women in particular, I think, will be cheered by her refusal to be cowed by this quasi-sexual or moralistic assault on her behaviour as a 15-year-old girl.

"Publish and be damned. It would be a humiliation to whoever publishes them and not to her. She has nothing to be ashamed of for whatever she chose to do at 15 years old. People should respect her privacy, but if they were to come out, I think most people other than Gloria would say, 'Who gives a damn?', and it would only draw attention to her courageous and dignified reaction to the threat."

Yesterday de Piero said a news agency was offering thousands of pounds for anyone who had copies of the images.

Mensch said while an MP she was threatened over tales of drunkenness and drug taking when she was younger and went public.

She told the Today show that MPs do not have “squeaky clean” pasts

"I hope that what I did back then – admitting it and saying essentially, `So what? Politicians are allowed to have a life before politics, especially when they are very young' – might have provided a model.

"If we are coming to the age of the blackmail-free politician, at least as regards something they did ages ago in their youth, that can only be a good thing.

"I think Britain has grown up a bit. Voters have realised that politicians aren't squeaky-clean people without lives. Most of the people listening to Today this morning will also have done some stupid things as students or teenagers, and they have no reason to expect that their politicians are any different."


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