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Volume 210: debated on Tuesday 30 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make it his policy to undertake a review of the law on obscenity.

I am very aware about the concern felt about the effectiveness of the present legislation on obscenity. The Government remain willing to support attempts of reform if these appear workable, are a real improvement on the existing law and are likely to command sufficient public and parliamentary support.The Government have frequently stated that it recognises the deficiencies of the Obscence Publications Act and would support a further tightening of the law, but we believe that this is an area for Private Member initiative. Recent attempts to reform the law by private Members, including some with Government support, have failed to attract sufficient parliamentary support, illustrating the present lack of consensus as to the best way forward.