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Online Safety Bill (Carry-over Extension)

Volume 729: debated on Monday 13 March 2023

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That the period on the expiry of which proceedings on the Online Safety Bill shall lapse in pursuance of paragraph (13) of Standing Order No. 80A shall be extended by 18 weeks until 20 July 2023.—(Paul Scully.)

I do not intend to detain the House, but I have made intimations to a number of Ministers that I wish to put on record.

Time is always a factor in the House, and the sheer scale of business inevitably leads to delays. I absolutely agree with the motion to extend the time available for this essential Bill to continue its passage to the next stage in the other place before it returns to us so that we can fine-tune it and get it right.

I have received large numbers of emails about the Online Safety Bill, and Ministers are well aware of the issues of concern to me and others. The fact is that this Bill and the provisions it contains are necessary in this modern world. Loopholes must be addressed and measures added to ensure that the spirit of the Bill’s aims is achieved, that people are safer online, with the prohibition of bullying, attacks, wrongful advice and out-and-out harmful lies, and that there are powers to enforce that. That is what is needed.

It is right and proper that appropriate time is given to discuss the Bill—I support that entirely. I look forward to returning to this place to get the job done and to get it right for my constituents. For me, that is what it is all about.

Question put and agreed to.