Thursday 18 March 2021 / 1:52 PM Jo Stevens

Tories break promise on online harms as they admit new law will be delayed yet again

Tories break promise on online harms as they admit new law will be delayed yet again

 

Despite insisting the new law was a “priority”, Oliver Dowden admitted to MPs that the long-awaited law would not come until the new parliamentary session – after May 2021 – more than two years after it was first promised.

 

Labour have called for tougher measures than the Tories including harsh financial penalties and criminal sentences for tech executives. We will seek to amend the bill to make it tough enough to keep everyone safe online but until the Government brings it to parliament that can’t happen.

 

Following the death of teenager Molly Russell, who took her own life after being bombarded with dangerous self harm images, the Government pledged to crackdown on harmful content and make the internet safer.

 

Responding to a question from Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Mr Dowden admitted the Tories have broken that promise leaving children and the vulnerable with the possibility that the law does not come into force until 2023 at the earliest – seven years after it was first proposed.

 

Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

 

“Keeping children and vulnerable people safe online should be one of the most important issues for this government.

 

“Instead, we keep seeing this law kicked further down the road.

 

“Last year the Tories promised to have the law ready by the end of the year and today they have made exactly the same promise about 2021. How can we trust that we won’t be in exactly the same position next year?

 

“This law is a once-in-a-generation chance to keep us all safe online we need it to come before parliament as soon as possible so we can ensure it does all it needs to.”