mjtmail (tiggy) at www.flickr.comRupert Murdoch is considering ending the publication of photographs of topless models on page 3 of The Sun.
The chief executive of News Corporation, the parent company of The Sun's publisher, said he was ?considering? swapping the topless models for a ?halfway house? with glamorous fashion models.
Bare breasted women have featured on page 3 of The Sun for more than 40 years but the feature has increasingly come under fire, with its critics arguing it is demeaning to women.
Twitter user @Kazipooh tweeted to the News Corporation boss: ?#nomorepage3 Seriously, we are all so over page 3 - it is so last century!?
The 81-year-old replied: ?page three so last century! You maybe right, don't know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas.?
Former News International executive chairman Les Hinton, who worked alongside Murdoch as one of his trusted lieutenants for more than 50 years before resigning in the wake of the News of the World scandal in 2011, helped to fuel speculation of the end of page 3.
When asked what he thought of Murdoch?s comments he replied: ?Great but Page 3 has jarred for ages?.
Campaign groups claim that the page is a sexist relic and they have started an advertising boycott against the red top, as well as holding weekly protests outside the paper?s Wapping offices.
In 1986, Clare Short raised the issue in the House of Commons, which led to support from many but also to the headline: "Fat, jealous Clare brands Page 3 porn".
The pressure group, No More Page 3, which was set up last year and has gathered almost 65,000 signatures on a petition, celebrated the news.
They tweeted: ?We're really pleased that @rupertmurdoch might b thinking about dropping pg 3 - It's down to everyone who signed the petition & supported us.?
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott, an outspoken critic of the tabloid, also welcomed the suggestion Page 3 may end. But he asked Murdoch to go one further, tweeting: ?I see you're considering axing The Sun's Page 3. While you're at it, cut pages 1-2 and 4-76 too.?