Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:38 am, 15th October 2020

When I first heard of the Barrington declaration, I thought it was something to do with cricket, but it turns out that it is not. Sir Ken Barrington was a very distinguished cricketer. I will not go into the Barrington rules for children to play under, which are very successful.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the question of censorship. The Government are sceptical about the Barrington declaration, but that does not mean that people should not be free to discuss it, and it is a worrying trend for large internet operators to think that they should be the arbiters of free speech. It is not for them to arbitrate over free speech. It is perhaps even more troubling that they are sometimes slow to take down material that could damage children, but they are not so slow to take down things that they do not agree with politically, and that raises important questions.