Online Safety Bill delayed until new PM in place

The Online Safety Bill's journey through parliament has been put on hold until a new Prime Minister is put in place in the autumn.

The bill, which was due to be discussed in parliament next week, seeks to outline how online platforms deal with harmful contact and to better protect people from online fraud.

Following months of pressure from the pensions and wider finance industry, paid-for fraudulent advertising was brought into scope of the bill in early March.

It was introduced to parliament on 17 March in what was described as a “huge moment for the safety of all internet users”.

The bill, which is at the report stage as it passes through parliament, has now been paused until MPs return from their summer break and a new Prime Minister is in place.

It was previously expected to complete its journey through the House of Commons and move on to the House of Lords later this month.

Commenting on the delay, B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, director of policy, Phil Brown, said that the pause was “disappointing” for those fighting against pension fraud, which is “arguably the cruellest of all financial crimes”.

“Our research suggests that more than £14bn may have already been stolen from pension savers in the UK, but, sadly, ruthless criminals will only want more and with £2.5trn of pension savings at risk, there is plenty for them to target,” he continued.

“The bill will offer protections against online fraud, meaning it’s vital that any delay is minimal if the government is serious about protecting people from financial harms.”

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