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Shadow Home Secretary supports greater regulation online at Board of Deputies event on online hate

September 21, 2020 - Board of Deputies - Share: Twitter Facebook

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has told a Board of Deputies meeting about online hate that Labour will be supporting new legislation to regulate social media companies.

At the Labour Connected event, entitled, “How should we be combating online hate?’ Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “The platforms have been slow to act. The time has come where there has to be regulation.”

He added: “We have told the Government that we will work with it constructively to get online harms legislation right. There has to be a formal duty of care independently regulated.”

Former Labour MP Ruth Smeeth spoke movingly of the online abuse she had been subjected to. She said: “I haven’t been able to wear my Apple watch at all since this time. When you get death threats coming through on your wrist, that is overwhelming.”

In supporting greater regulation, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy also spoke of the torrent of abuse which had been sent to him online. He said: The death threats are well documented. I have family who are not in the public eye and I’m really conscious that when people abuse me I’m a figure-head for a minority community.”

He added: “The consequence of antisemitism  in recent history have been real, serious, disastrous and catastrophic and we live with those consequences for generations. I deplore where we got to with antisemitism in the Labour Party.”