The Sun has stopped featuring topless women on Page 3 after 44 years, according to The Times newspaper.
Last Friday’s print edition of The Sun is understood to be the last time the images will be featured, though the pictures are still carried online.
The Times, which shares the same publisher as The Sun, reported that owner Rupert Murdoch approved axing Page 3, a feature started back in November 1970.
Murdoch made negative comments about images of topless women on Twitter last year, describing them as “old-fashioned”.
Reports suggest Page 3 may be reinstated if sales of the newspaper decline as a result of the decision.
Lucy-Anne Holmes, who founded the campaign group No More Page 3, told BBC Newsnight that the move is a “step in the right direction”.
But because the newspaper is still to feature women with minimal clothing, Holmes said the group could not claim victory.
“The Sun hasn’t suddenly decided that women say, think and do interesting and incredible things, it’s still basically saying women are here for decoration”, she explained.
The No More Page 3 petition has been signed by more than 200,000 people since it was started in August 2012.
The campaign is supported by Girlguiding UK, Mumsnet, Women’s Aid and Breast Cancer UK.
The Evangelical Alliance welcomed reports that Page 3 has ended.
Steve Clifford, General Director of the Alliance said: “The discontinuation of page 3 represents a victory for all women, and for all of us who have long campaigned for a more decent and respectful press in the UK.
“But ending the print version is not just enough, Rupert Murdoch needs to go the next step and remove it from the online version as well. These actions would help to move us towards a more responsible media and a more civil society”.[Update: 22 January 2015. Contrary to reports in The Times, The Sun has not dropped the feature from its print edition and today published a picture of a topless woman on Page 3.]