Value retailer Primark  has stopped selling a controversial padded bikini top range for girls as young as seven following criticism from politicians and children’s groups.

Primark is to donate profits from the product to a children’s charity and apologised for causing offence.

The £4 bikini sets attracted allegations about the “premature sexualisation” of children and were labelled “disgraceful” by Conservative leader David Cameron, who has previously criticised other retailers for similar reasons.

Children’s Society director of children and young people Penny Nicholls told the BBC: “We know from our research that commercial pressures towards premature sexualisation and unprincipled advertising are damaging children’s wellbeing.

“The evidence shows that adults feel children are more materialistic than in past generations while children themselves feel under pressure to keep up with the latest trends.”

Asda has previously been criticised for selling a push-up bra for young girls, while Tesco withdrew a pole-dancing kit form its toy offer.