Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Puttnam Lord Puttnam Labour 9:15 pm, 8th February 2017

What I believe the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, is saying, and it is very important, is that there is an accidental anomaly in the Bill. As someone who, like the Minister, pored over every word of it, I take some responsibility for this, but it is extraordinary— I even referred to it as bizarre—that the bar that is set for an ongoing licensee is higher than the bar for a bidder. Surely common sense requires that someone bidding has to reach the same standards of honesty and probity that are required of an ongoing licensee. There is an anomaly, and I am trying to help the Government to get rid of it because it should not be there. Obviously there should be a bar, but it should apply to anyone applying for a licence just as it does to anyone who has an ongoing licence that is being looked at.