Children and Families Bill — Report (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 28th January 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Howe of Idlicote Baroness Howe of Idlicote Crossbench 8:15 pm, 28th January 2014

My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for taking part in this debate. There were some excellent contributions. Of course, I have listened with great care to what the Minister has said. As I said earlier, I recognise and welcome the progress that has been made in relation to self-regulation. I do not question its reality—good progress has been made. I simply suggested that we now need to build on it, making good some of its weaknesses by adopting a statutory approach, underpinned with robust age verification.

Self-regulation, for example, provides no means of dealing with the likes of Andrews and Arnold where default filters are concerned. Its closed loop system does not provide for proper age verification and the mobile phone code all too often—and at very real cost to children—has not been respected. If we believe that child protection is really important—and I have every belief that your Lordships believe just that—we must introduce robust statutory measures to help prevent children accessing this material.

We have debated these issues on many occasions and need to come to some resolution. On that basis, I wish to test the opinion of the House and very much hope that noble Lords will join me in the Content Lobby.