Brooks Newmark sting: Mirror apologises for using women's photos
Editor says sorry to women whose photos were used to trap Brooks Newmark, but insists story is in the public interest
The Sunday Mirror has apologised to two women for the unauthorised use of their images in an investigation which led to the resignation of Conservative minister Brooks Newmark.
Newmark was exposed after reportedly sending sexually explicit images of himself to an undercover journalist posing as female public relations officer.
The freelance reporter used images of Swedish model Malin Sahlén and 26-year old Charlene Tyler from Lincolnshire to attract the attention of several Conservative ministers.
"Subterfuge was used in this investigation – and we have been very clear about that from the start," the paper's editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley told the BBC, but he insisted that the investigation was carried out before the paper became involved.
"We thought that pictures used by the investigation were posed by models, but we now know that some real pictures were used," he said. "At no point has the Sunday Mirror published any of these images, but we would like to apologise to the women involved for their use in the investigation."
Embley reiterated that he believed there was a "clear public interest" in the story due to Newmark's role as minister for civil society and co-founder of the Women2Win campaign, which is designed to get more women into parliament. "The Sunday Mirror stands by its story," he said.
Sahlén said she was felt shocked and exploited by the theft of her photos, telling Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: "I do not want to be exploited in this way and that someone has used my image like this feels really awful, both for me and the others involved in this." Tyler also condemned the use of her images, and an interview with her is expected to be published in this week's Sunday Mirror.