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Paper responds to criticisms over gay mail-order splash

The Morley Advertiser has responded to the barrage of criticism it has received over an article it printed about a gay mail-order company.

Last week thousands of copies of the Advertiser were stripped from the shelves after outrage at comments in its front page splash, which told how a gay sex mail-order firm had been operating in an innocuous old woollen mill in the town for three years.

Some of the published comments attributed to locals living near the operation led to the 3,655-circulation paper being withdrawn – but not before many people has read the article.

Following criticisms from readers the Advertiser has now printed a story in this week’s edition stating that editor Bob Evans “regretted publication of such comments” and the story “did not reflect the views of himself or staff of the Advertiser”.

The paper has also printed eight letters from readers objecting to comments in the story, together with a statement from the managing director of the mail-order company, which expresses his disappointment at “the way the Morley Advertiser felt the need to expose that business”.

A statement on behalf of the Morley Advertiser, made shortly after copies of the papers were withdrawn, said: “The article sought to represent the reaction of some local residents in a dispassionate manner.

“Their comments in no way represent the views of the publisher, editor or journalists of the Morley Advertiser.

“We regret any offence caused and will be pleased to consider for publication letters from any reader who has been upset by the comments reported in the article.”

Advertiser editor Bob Evans told Holdthefrontpage: “We look forward to the matter being concluded.”

  • The Advertiser is part of the Wakefield-based Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group, which is owned by Johnston Press.

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