The news was so good I didn’t believe it at first, like being told you’ve just won the lottery. A tweet appeared last night at about 7.15pm claiming the Online Safety Bill had been put on hold by the Government.
Hearing that the Online Safety Bill has been dropped from government business next week with a view for it to “come back in the autumn” (aka when there’s a new PM
Read: it’s being dropped
Pretty key piece of govt legislation gone
— Eleanor Langford (@eleanormia) July 13, 2022
But it was true! The same journalist later wrote a longer piece for PoliticsHome explaining that the Bill had been held over until the Autumn, explaining why.
PoliticsHome understands that the Bill was removed from the Government’s agenda to make space for a motion of no confidence in the Government due to be put to the House on Monday.
And this wasn’t idle speculation, but a genuine scoop. Later, the BBC followed up, confirming the story.
Plans for new internet safety laws have been put on hold until a new Prime Minister is in place in the autumn.
The Online Safety Bill aims to lay down rules in law about how platforms should deal with harmful content.
It had been in its final stages and was to be discussed in Parliament next week, but will now be paused until MPs return from their summer break.
A Government source confirmed to the BBC that timetable pressures meant the bill is being rescheduled.
Shadow culture minister Alex Davies-Jones said the delay was “an absolutely devastating blow and another example of the Tories prioritising their own ideals over people’s safety online”.
Campaigners seeking changes to the existing regulations expressed concern at the delay.