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Online Pornography: Age Verification

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:43 am on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 10:43 am, 17th October 2019

I share a huge number of the hon. Lady’s concerns. This is not an indefinite postponement of the measures that we are seeking to introduce; it is an extension of what they will achieve. I honestly believe that we can do even better than some of the original proposals. For instance, she is right that raising the age at which children are exposed to deeply inappropriate content is important. Nobody is pretending that the proposals, either in the online harms agenda or in the original legislation, are perfect, but we should do all we can to make them as good as possible. I honestly believe that we will achieve more for child protection through this slower but more comprehensive approach than we would be taking the faster approach, which, as she has said, would end up being reviewed relatively quickly and, I suspect, wrapped into the online harms agenda. We are not delaying this unnecessarily; we are seeking to bring forward this aspect of the online harms agenda as quickly as possible.