Daily Mail accused of sexism over 'Legs-it' front page

The coverage of Monday's meeting between the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister.
The coverage of Monday's meeting between the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister.
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A national newspaper is facing accusations of sexism after publishing a front page picture of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon under the headline "Who won Legs-it!".

The Daily Mail was condemned as "moronic" and accused of deterring girls from entering politics over its coverage of Monday's meeting between the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister.

Conservative former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan tweeted: "Seriously? Our two most senior female politicians are judged for their legs not what they said #appallingsexism"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "It's 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history. Shame on the Daily Mail," while the party's former deputy leader Harriet Harman added: "Moronic! And we are in 2017!"

The paper's front page carried a photograph of the two women sitting down for talks in Glasgow under the headline "Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!"

It was accompanied by an inside page article by the paper's columnist Sarah Vine - the wife of the Conservative former cabinet minister Michael Gove - discussing their appearance.

"What stands out here are the legs - and the vast expanse on show," she wrote.

"There is no doubt that both these women consider their pins to be the finest weapon in their physical arsenal."

Downing Street refused to be drawn on the paper's coverage.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "You would not expect me to comment on what papers should or should not put on their front pages or inside pages."

However London mayor Sadiq Khan, on an official visit to Brussels, said it would only serve to put off girls and young women from entering politics.

"You've got two of the most senior politicians in the country, two very important politicians.

"The idea that we are talking about their legs beggars belief," he said.

"What sort of message does that send to girls, young women, thinking about starting a career in politics if we are talking about their legs rather than their views on important matters?

"You compare and contrast photographs of Boris Johnson and David Cameron - nobody comments on the trousers they're wearing or their legs.

"I want to judge Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May on their politics, their values and their vision, rather than their legs."

A spokesman for the First Minister said: "It is slightly surprising that when the First Minister of Scotland and the Prime Minister of the UK meet to discuss the key issues of the UK's departure from the EU and giving the people of Scotland a choice over their future that the main focus should be on their legs and what they are wearing.

"Brexit may risk taking Britain back to the early 1970s but there is no need for coverage of events to lead the way."