PayPal and other finance companies could be banned from blocking the accounts of campaign groups for political reasons under a new law being proposed by MPs. The Telegraph has more.
Conservative backbenchers are considering launching an amendment to upcoming financial legislation in the House of Commons that would ban companies from freezing campaigners’ accounts.
It comes after UsForThem, which campaigned to keep schools open during the pandemic, and the Free Speech Union (FSU), a pressure group, had their PayPal accounts blocked and were accused of violating terms of service.
PayPal has since reinstated UsForThem’s account but the FSU’s three accounts with the U.S. tech giant are still blocked and are not expected to be reviewed.
An amendment to the Online Safety Bill or Digital Markets Bill, which are both yet to be passed in Parliament, could be launched by Tory MPs.
One source said ministers are likely to accept the amendment to the law because Conservative backbenchers will support it.
It comes after officials from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport reached out to PayPal to demand an explanation for the accounts being blocked.
The development follows dozens of Tory MPs, including Michael Gove, David Davis and Sir Iain Duncan Smith, signing an open letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Business Department calling for a ban on the discriminatory practices by financial services companies.
The MPs said it was “hard to avoid construing PayPal’s actions as an orchestrated, politically motivated move to silence critical or dissenting views on these topics within the U.K.”.