Newspaper defends 'Santa is not real' front page

HDM front page Image copyright Hull Daily Mail
Image caption The headline has attracted a number of negative comments on social media

A newspaper has defended a front page headline that included the words "Santa is not real".

The Hull Daily Mail had an interview with a mother on Universal Credit who said she could not afford presents so had told her two children that Father Christmas did not exist.

One woman tweeted the story had "taken the magic away from kids this Christmas".

The paper said it was about the impact of benefits and "not about Santa".

Among criticism of the headline on social media, Graeme Wightman tweeted he managed to "remove delivered Hull Daily Mail from the doorstep from sight of my seven year old" and described it as a "Really poor strap line four days from Christmas even though [I] get the merits of the story itself."

Paul Tennison posted "Great move by @hulllive #hulldailymail for spoiling many families Christmas with today's front page. #mykidscanread #explainthat!."

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A number of comments pointed out the irony of the headline having an advertisement for a shopping centre Christmas grotto underneath it with the line "Come and see Santa".

In a statement on its website, the Hull Daily Mail said the article was "a very sad story written to highlight the problems that people less fortunate than most are suffering with Universal Credit".

It added: "The headline doesn't say that Santa is not real, it says that one mother has chosen to tell her children that he isn't because of the desperate situation she faces."

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