Lord McNally Statement on Private Members Bill: Online Harms Reduction Regulator (Report) Bill

December 23, 2019

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The Carnegie UK Trust have recently produced a draft Online Harm Reduction Bill led by William Perrin, Professor Lorna Woods and Maeve Walsh which sets out how a statutory duty of care regime for online harm reduction would work. In addition, they have also been working with Lord McNally to prepare a short paving Bill which would require the Secretary of State for DCMS to instruct Ofcom to take on the role of the interim Online Harms Regulator and prepare for the introduction of a statutory duty of care. This paving Bill will now be introduced as a Private Members Bill into the House of Lords on Tuesday 14 January 2020. You can read the full statement from Lord McNally below.


Online Harms Reduction Regulator (Report) Bill


Tom McNally said:


“I was a member of the pre- legislative scrutiny committee (the Puttnam Committee) prior the 2003 Communications Act which established OFCOM and was Minister of Data Protection 2010-13 in the Coalition Government. I am treasurer of the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (Pictfor). Along with colleagues in all Parties I have supported the Government’s intention to legislate to protect against internet harm. However the government’s commitment to develop safer internet legislation in the Queen’s Speech, though welcome, did not go far enough. The timetable seems to have slipped and there was no mention of the draft bill that we need to ensure that the details are right. It is to keep up a momentum I fear may be lost and to provide a platform for wider public debate that I have prepared a Private Member’s Bill with the help of the Carnegie UK Trust. This will task OFCOM to get on with preparing for a statutory duty of care enforced by a regulator regime and require the government to introduce a draft Bill for consultation based on OFCOM’s work. The bill also describes a duty of care and its scope of application. We shall share more in the New Year.”