Gloria de Piero: 'Stop looking for my topless photographs'
Labour MP applauded for telling newspaper to call off hunt for pictures so she can get on with her job
GLORIA DE PIERO has told a newspaper to stop hunting for topless photographs she posed for at the age of 15. The Labour MP added that she should not be punished for a teenage indiscretion, an assertion applauded by commentators.
The existence of the pictures was first revealed in 2010, when De Piero, who grew up in a cash-strapped family in Bradford, told the Daily Telegraph she had posed for them in order to buy some new clothes. But her elevation to the shadow cabinet last week – she's the new shadow minister for women and equalities - and word that a national newspaper is offering an agency "thousands" to find and buy the topless photos, prompted her to discuss the issue today on her blog.
"I don't think anyone wants politics to be open only to those people who were planning their political careers in their teens," she writes. "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."
De Piero told the newspaper to stop looking for the pictures and let her get on with her job.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mic Wright says embarrassing photographs have undone many politicians and "from the next election onwards, we're going to see an intake of MPs brought up in the age of the digital camera and the internet". The potential for politicians to be caught out by digital indiscretions preserved on the internet is immense, says Wright. Which is exactly why De Piero deserves "three cheers" for taking a stand.
"She's right to call for that [freedom not be condemned by youthful mistakes], and the internet generations will make it happen," writes Wright.
Three cheers for Gloria De Piero! The next generation of politicians will be immune to blackmail ... http://t.co/JGRrXYq8IF
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) October 17, 2013
Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman agrees that De Piero's attitude "could be good for politics".
"Perhaps Ms de Piero's teenage photoshoot simply confirms she's a fully paid-up member of the human race," writes Newman in the Daily Telegraph. "We all make mistakes as teenagers, and she's no exception".
Newman says she has been struck by "how many women told me they thought she [de Piero] talked sense, and how unlike your average politician she seemed". In other words, "despite her extraordinary good looks, she sounded like an ordinary, less-than-perfect human being," writes Newman. "And amen to that".
— tom_watson (@tom_watson) October 17, 2013