We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Elections and Referenda: Protection Against Corruption - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:59 pm on 7th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve Crossbench 2:59 pm, 7th October 2019

My Lords, time is moving on. During May, the Government replied to a number of questions from various Benches about preventing online corruption of future elections and referenda. The noble Lord, Lord Young of Cookham, always gave careful and considered answers and assured the House that the Government were already taking steps to ensure that there was no such corruption. He talked about ensuring that we have,

“a robust framework for our election process, which is resistant to corruption and enhances public confidence”.—[Official Report, 1/5/19; cols. 962-63.]

Since then, the evidence of online disinformation campaigning has grown very greatly. Some of it is anonymous and some is traceable to hostile states. It has been documented in some part by a very recent report from the Oxford Internet Institute. What steps have Her Majesty’s Government taken since May to ensure that future elections and referenda are not corrupted at source, and that the electorate can have confidence that results are not being secured by foul means?