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Daily Mail focuses on legs over legislation, fires back at online criticism

The Daily Mail front page for Tuesday 28 January.

British tabloid The Daily Mail is under fire for a front page which emphasises the legs of female politicians over any substantive news.

The "legs-it" front page won't be on newsstands until later today (NZT) but has been shared online already.

"Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!" the paper asked.

"It wasn't quite stilettos at dawn, but there was a distinctively frosty atmosphere when Theresa May met Nicola Sturgeon yesterday," the paper wrote. 

READ MORE: Daily Mail changing its 'fat-shaming' ways

Theresa May is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland. The meeting, as reported by other outlets, concerned May's imminent plan to trigger "Article 50" - formally beginning the exit of Britain from the European Union (EU).

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Sturgeon and the majority of Scotland do not want to leave the EU. She is calling for a second independence referendum for the country given the exit.

As such, the talk was "cordial" but not exactly friendly. Sturgeon said she was "frustrated by a process that appears not to be listening". May has repeatedly said that now is not the best time for another Scottish independence referendum. 

Many were not pleased with the Mail's front page.

A Daily Mail spokesperson fired back to criticism on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT): "For goodness sake, get a life! Sarah Vine's piece, which was flagged as light-hearted, was a side-bar alongside a serious political story. It appeared in an 84-page paper packed with important news and analysis, a front-page exclusive on cost-cutting in the NHS and a health supplement devoted to women's health issues.

"For the record, the Mail was the paper which, more than any other, backed Theresa May for the top job. Again for the record, we often comment on the appearance of male politicians, including Cameron's waistline, Osborne's hair, Corbyn's clothes - and even Boris's legs. Is there a rule that says political coverage must be dull or has a po-faced BBC and left-wing commentariat, so obsessed by the Daily Mail, lost all sense of humour ... and proportion?"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has not been treated kindly by the right-leaning tabloid, said "this sexism must be consigned to history. Shame on the Daily Mail."

He wasn't alone.

Blair loyalist Alastair Campbell, no friend of Corbyn, told his followers to rip up issues if they saw it.

Even the Daily Mali got involved, clarifying that their news account about the going ons in the African nation of Mali was not involved in the front page.

Stuff

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