Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Stockport journalist's petition calling for Daily Mail to 'stop sexualising children' hits 17,000 signatures in hours

Stockport journalist's petition calling for Daily Mail to 'stop sexualising children' hits 17,000 signatures in hours

| By Stefan Mackley

A petition slamming the Daily Mail for sexualising young girls has reached more than 17,000 signatures in a matter of hours, after being set up by a Stockport man.

Owen Jones, a columnist for the Independent who grew up in Stockport, created the petition blasting the way the Daily Mail portrays underage girls in its stories.

The page was up for less than seven hours when it reached the milestone, calling on the newspaper to overhaul editorial guidelines with regards to reporting on young people.

And now Salford Mayer Ian Stewart has waded in on the debate by backing the petition and tweeting the link to sign it.

He then wrote: "Classic Mail hypocrisy > Paris Jackson shares swimsuit snap after enjoying the holidays in Hawaii."

Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's only daughter, was pictured posing in underwear but is only 15 years old.

Mr Jones said on Twitter: “Blimey –over 5,000 people in two hours have signed the call for the Daily Mail to stop sexualising kids.”

He believes they need to ‘show contrition’ and give to the NSPCC while working alongside children’s charities to make amends for the explicit content produced.

Two of the figures mentioned were reality stars Kylie and Kendall Jenner (pictured above) from Keeping Up With The Kardashians, whose coverage by the Daily Mail was slammed by the New Statesman in 2012.

The petition said: “The Daily Mail and MailOnline have a sinister track record of presenting underage girls in a deeply inappropriate and sexualised manner.”

The page features a review of the film Kick-Ass written by the Mail, which the petition believes contains inappropriate language directed towards lead child actor Chloe Moretz, who was 14 at the time of the film.

The article includes quotes ‘paedophiles are going to adore her’ and ‘many seem obsessed with her age and what she is wearing’. 

Labour MP Harriet Harman posted on twitter: "When it comes to decency and sexualisation of children, would you take lessons from the Daily Mail?"

Celebrities have also voiced their support, with actor Steven Fry tweeting: “Seriously, read the reasons for the petition- I thought the Daily Mail couldn’t revolt me more, and yet…”

James Bisset, from Manchester, who signed the petition, said: "Astonishing that a newspaper can so explicitly and routinely treat children as titillating objects and suggest too that they know what they're doing."

Lisa Cusick, another signature from Manchester, said: "I have a daughter and am disgusted by their overtly sexualised portrayal of young girls and misogyny against women in general."

The petition comes less than a week after the Daily Mail accused Labour MP’s Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt of being part of a group affiliated with a campaign that attempted to legalise sex with children.

The article sparked controversy by accusing the trio of holding key roles in human rights groups that supported the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange.

Image courtesy of Gillette Venus via YouTube, with thanks.