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Online Abuse

Volume 680: debated on Wednesday 23 September 2020

What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on tackling online abuse targeted at women. (906540)

There has been a worrying rise in the amount of abuse, harassment and intimidation online, and women are often disproportionately targeted by such abuse. It is completely unacceptable and, in fact, impacts individuals’ rights to participate online. We set out robust measures to deal with this in the online harms White Paper, and will be publishing a full Government response, later in the year.

I am glad that the Minister recognises this issue. Almost one in two women report experiencing online abuse since the start of covid-19. However, the Government have delayed the draft of the online harms Bill until, I understand, the end of 2021. Legislation is clearly needed now, so when will the Government introduce the Bill?

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is misinformed. We are absolutely committed to making the UK the safest place to go online. The online harms White Paper will set out how we are going to make world-leading legislation. We intend to publish that before the end of the year, and the legislation to follow at the very beginning of next year.