Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Wood of Anfield Lord Wood of Anfield Labour 6:15 pm, 8th February 2017

My Lords, I thank noble Lords for that excellent short debate. I agree with much of what the noble Lord, Lord Gordon, said about the risks of a target—such risks definitely exist—but I also agree with other noble Lords that leaving it to Ofcom is probably not the best solution. There is definitely a need for some parliamentary clarity. Ofcom wants statutory clarity so that it can be a regulator in virtue of clear rules, rather than be thrown into the contentiousness that the judgments that this would require would embroil it in. So I think that the Ofcom route is not the best route forward.

I also agree with the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, that there are certain tough cases with any rules, in particular with the Welsh and Gaelic language carrying of live sporting events. In response to the Minister, I suppose I am 10% reassured and 90% not reassured at all. To say that noble Lords can be reassured that there is no threat is not really a reassurance, because the threat does not come from the Government’s intentions being in doubt.