This blog's campaign against the Fulham Chronicle's promotion of local prostitution has received a boost as senior politicians from across the parties have condemned the newspaper's willingness to take advertising cash from local brothels and pimps.
They have therefore joined the Metropolitan Police and indeed leaders of organisations supporting the victims of prostitution, often women who have been trafficked into the UK and are working under conditions of abuse, in calling on the Chronicle to stop promoting prostitution.
First out of the stocks was the leader of the Liberal Democrats and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority at the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon, who told me:
"It is vital that Hammersmith and Fulham Council reflect on the Met's advice that adverts for 'massage parlours' in local newspapers can play a key role in facilitating the exploitation of trafficked victims. If it then fails to act the council is in effect endorsing the display of such advertisements.
"The council has a substantial advertising contract with the Fulham Chronicle. It can and must make a difference.
And it seems H&F Council themselves, who are now engaged in a £75,000 per year advertising contract with the Chronicle, have now reached the same conclusion. Councillor Greg Smith H&F Council Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, responded to me by saying:
"While the Chronicle's advertising policy is a matter for the publisher, Trinity Mirror Southern, the council finds such advertising highly distasteful and will be raising the matter with them."
This is welcome news. As I said here the Council is effectively the Fulham Chronicle's paymaster these days so they will have to be listened to back at the offices of the Chronicle and indeed their owners Trinity Mirror. Full credit to the Council for taking the issue up with the Chronicle - it will be interesting to see what they say, which I will share here.
It's just sad that they didn't think the pleas from both the Police and groups that deal with victims of prostitution were worth bothering with - that should have been more than enough to convince them to stop taking cash from local pimps. Instead, they have done the exact opposite and invested time and money in their website to promote local prostitution online as well as in their published paper - see above.
The campaign goes on - watch this space. As I know the Fulham Chronicle does, who are welcome to comment at any time, but until now have chosen to remain strangely silent. In their silence they may wish to view this short video by Emma Thompson who can explain to them the consequences of what they are happy to promote: