Baroness Benjamin Portrait

Baroness Benjamin

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 26th June 2010



Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Benjamin has voted in 433 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Benjamin voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Baroness Benjamin Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(16 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(10 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(29 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(7,143 words contributed)
Media Act 2024
(5,065 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(3,766 words contributed)
Victims and Prisoners Act 2024
(2,217 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Benjamin's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Benjamin, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


4 Bills introduced by Baroness Benjamin


A Bill to amend the definition of still-birth to apply from 20 weeks into a pregnancy; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 11th December 2023

A Bill to make provision for a certificate to be issued to mothers in respect of miscarried and still-born children not eligible for registration under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953; to establish a database for archiving the certificate and recording information about the miscarriage or still-birth; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Friday 8th July 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for a certificate to be issued to mothers in respect of miscarried and still-born children not eligible for registration under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953; to establish a database for archiving the certificate and recording information about the miscarriage or still-birth; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 1st July 2021
(Read Debate)

A bill to make provision for a certificate to be issued to mothers in respect of miscarried and still-born children not eligible for registration under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953; to establish a database for archiving the certificate and recording information about the miscarriage or still-birth; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 21st January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Benjamin has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that all children, including those who have special educational needs, have full access to (1) theatres, and (2) arts centres.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all children have access to arts and cultural attractions across the UK. That is why it encouraged Arts Council England to ensure that the public money it disburses is spread more equitably across the country, and why we are pleased to see a record number of cultural organisations receiving funding in more parts of the country than ever before, helping to bring world-class arts and culture closer to everyone.

Arts Council England funding supports a range of projects, programmes, and organisations which specialise in widening opportunities for young people, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The most recent annual survey of Arts Council national portfolio organisations showed that 509 organisations (61%) delivered specific activity for people with disabilities, with 71 reporting that this was a major focus of their work. 309 organisations in the portfolio delivered workshops or educational sessions for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

David Stanley is the Government’s Arts and Culture Disability and Access Ambassador. As founder and chief executive of the multi award-winning music education charity The Music Man Project, David is widely known for his experience and commitment to supporting people with special educational needs to access and participate in the arts. The Department is working closely with David to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, including children with special educational needs.

Arts Councils across the UK are also working with the British Film Institute to launch a free, UK-wide arts access scheme by early 2024. This scheme will operate across all arts and cultural venues, for seamless, barrier-free booking that is responsive to individual circumstances and needs.

Our work with the Department for Education on a new Cultural Education Plan, as committed to in the Schools White Paper, will build further on this important work.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what evidence they based their decision to open non-essential retail, hairdressers, and beauty parlours no sooner than 12 April but not open museums, galleries and heritage buildings until 17 May at the earliest; and what plans they have to publish the data which supported that decision.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown.

The Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. The Chancellor also set out that we will provide £90 million funding to support our government-sponsored national museums in England due to the financial impact of Covid-19.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what comparative analysis they undertook of the risk of COVID-19 infection posed by (1) museums, galleries and heritage buildings, and (2) non-essential retail, hairdressers, and beauty parlours.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown.

The Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. The Chancellor also set out that we will provide £90 million funding to support our government-sponsored national museums in England due to the financial impact of Covid-19.

18th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Camrose on 11 March (HL2719), whether, as a result of engagement between Aylo and XHamster, the Information Commissioner's Office was satisfied that these two websites are operating in full accordance with data protection law, including the Age Appropriate Design Code, and if not, what further regulatory action they are taking to achieve compliance.

The ICO provided advice and guidance to Aylo and XHamster on compliance with data protection legislation and on their Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs). The ICO would consider further interactions with these organisations if subsequent compliance concerns arise.

Should the ICO receive a complaint that these or any other pornography website organisations have breached their obligations, the ICO would consider the complaint and take action where necessary.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many pornographic websites have been the subject of (1) regulatory inquiries, or (2) formal investigations by the Information Commissioner’s Office, regarding their use of children’s personal data, on the basis that they are likely to be accessed by minors, since the Age Appropriate Design Code came into force in September 2020.

Following publication of its “Likely to be accessed by children" guidance, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has worked with Ofcom and engaged with two pornographic website companies (Aylo and XHamster).

During the development of its guidance on the Age Appropriate Design Code, the ICO also worked with the content subscription service provider OnlyFans on how the code would impact their processing activities.

The ICO proactively reviewed the Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) for all three organisations, providing feedback where appropriate, and suggesting improvements in two cases. These were not formal investigations.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications were received from schools for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme; and what was the value of any such applications.

711 applications were received in total from schools and academies for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. These have a combined value of £429 million.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total value of applications to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme received before that scheme was closed to new applications on 11 January.

The total value of applications received to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme was £2.4 billion.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide funding to organisations which were unsuccessful in their application to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

My Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, announced in November 2020, includes a commitment for further funding for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in the 2021/22 financial year. Further information will be announced in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a scheme to assist companies facing cashflow problems due to large numbers of refund requests triggered by COVID-19 related cancellations.

The support announced by the Government is intended to support firms to keep trading throughout this difficult period. Cashflow issues are highly likely to be included in the list of difficulties any of these firms might experience.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides support to small businesses which were viable before the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Small Business Grant Fund is designed for eligible small businesses with relatively high fixed costs and experiencing reduced trade as a result of social distancing and closures policies.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many businesses in the (1) creative, and (2) music, sector had received support under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme by 14 April.

As of 1 May, in total over £4.7 billion worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to 29,496 businesses. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on providing transparent and regular data publication going forward.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of figures showing that 68 per cent of freelancers in the television and film industry are no longer able to find employment; and of the impact on the UK creative industries.

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent a decline in the UK television and film industry as a result of high numbers of workers leaving the industry because they are unable to make a living.

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to appoint a commissioner for freelancers.

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) reduced budgets, (2) loss of advertising revenue, and (3) a changing production landscape, on the UK television and film sector; and what steps they are taking to incentivise people to work in the sector.

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their long-term strategy to preserve the UK television and film industry and provide employment security for its workers; and what consideration they have given to a freelancer pension scheme or fund, similar to the French model.

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are under a statutory obligation to update the Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements approved by the House of Lords on 11 December 2018 (HL Deb col 1307); and if so, how often they are obliged to update it.

In October 2019, His Majesty’s Government announced its decision to use the Online Safety Bill to protect children from pornography. The provisions in this Bill will provide greater protection to children than Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act. It will cover a wider range of services, including social media companies and search services, which were not in scope of the Digital Economy Act, and which play a significant role in enabling children to access harmful content online.


There is no statutory obligation to update the guidance mentioned in section 27 of the Digital Economy Act. As HM Government intends to repeal Part 3 of that Act through the Online Safety Bill, amending this guidance would not serve any purpose as it will not be used. Instead, Ofcom, as the independent regulator for the online safety regime, will set out the steps companies can take to protect children from harmful content such as pornography in codes of practice. Ofcom will also publish guidance for companies to meet the duty to protect children from published pornography in Part 5 of the Bill. The Secretary of State will also have a general power to issue guidance to Ofcom about the exercise of its functions under the Bill.


Ofcom will have a range of powers to assess whether companies are fulfilling their duties, and will be empowered to enforce the new regulatory regime. The British Board of Film Classification’s designation as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act was revoked following the October 2019 announcement.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to amending any aspects of the Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements, approved by the House of Lords on 11 December 2018 (HL Deb col 1307), before commencement of the provisions in Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 in the event that the British Board of Film Classification is re-designated as the regulator.

In October 2019, His Majesty’s Government announced its decision to use the Online Safety Bill to protect children from pornography. The provisions in this Bill will provide greater protection to children than Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act. It will cover a wider range of services, including social media companies and search services, which were not in scope of the Digital Economy Act, and which play a significant role in enabling children to access harmful content online.


There is no statutory obligation to update the guidance mentioned in section 27 of the Digital Economy Act. As HM Government intends to repeal Part 3 of that Act through the Online Safety Bill, amending this guidance would not serve any purpose as it will not be used. Instead, Ofcom, as the independent regulator for the online safety regime, will set out the steps companies can take to protect children from harmful content such as pornography in codes of practice. Ofcom will also publish guidance for companies to meet the duty to protect children from published pornography in Part 5 of the Bill. The Secretary of State will also have a general power to issue guidance to Ofcom about the exercise of its functions under the Bill.


Ofcom will have a range of powers to assess whether companies are fulfilling their duties, and will be empowered to enforce the new regulatory regime. The British Board of Film Classification’s designation as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act was revoked following the October 2019 announcement.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are under a statutory obligation to update the Guidance from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to the Age-Verification Regulator for Online Pornography, published in January 2018 and presented to Parliament pursuant to section 27 of the Digital Economy Act 2017; and if so, how often they are obliged to update it.

In October 2019, His Majesty’s Government announced its decision to use the Online Safety Bill to protect children from pornography. The provisions in this Bill will provide greater protection to children than Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act. It will cover a wider range of services, including social media companies and search services, which were not in scope of the Digital Economy Act, and which play a significant role in enabling children to access harmful content online.


There is no statutory obligation to update the guidance mentioned in section 27 of the Digital Economy Act. As HM Government intends to repeal Part 3 of that Act through the Online Safety Bill, amending this guidance would not serve any purpose as it will not be used. Instead, Ofcom, as the independent regulator for the online safety regime, will set out the steps companies can take to protect children from harmful content such as pornography in codes of practice. Ofcom will also publish guidance for companies to meet the duty to protect children from published pornography in Part 5 of the Bill. The Secretary of State will also have a general power to issue guidance to Ofcom about the exercise of its functions under the Bill.


Ofcom will have a range of powers to assess whether companies are fulfilling their duties, and will be empowered to enforce the new regulatory regime. The British Board of Film Classification’s designation as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act was revoked following the October 2019 announcement.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to amending any aspects of the Guidance from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to the Age-Verification Regulator for Online Pornography, published in January 2018 and presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 27 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, before commencement of provisions in Part 3 of that Act; and if so, which aspects they will amend.

In October 2019, His Majesty’s Government announced its decision to use the Online Safety Bill to protect children from pornography. The provisions in this Bill will provide greater protection to children than Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act. It will cover a wider range of services, including social media companies and search services, which were not in scope of the Digital Economy Act, and which play a significant role in enabling children to access harmful content online.


There is no statutory obligation to update the guidance mentioned in section 27 of the Digital Economy Act. As HM Government intends to repeal Part 3 of that Act through the Online Safety Bill, amending this guidance would not serve any purpose as it will not be used. Instead, Ofcom, as the independent regulator for the online safety regime, will set out the steps companies can take to protect children from harmful content such as pornography in codes of practice. Ofcom will also publish guidance for companies to meet the duty to protect children from published pornography in Part 5 of the Bill. The Secretary of State will also have a general power to issue guidance to Ofcom about the exercise of its functions under the Bill.


Ofcom will have a range of powers to assess whether companies are fulfilling their duties, and will be empowered to enforce the new regulatory regime. The British Board of Film Classification’s designation as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act was revoked following the October 2019 announcement.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether Ofcom's roadmap to regulation for the Online Safety Bill ensures that the implementation period for Part 5 of that bill following passage of the legislation will be as short as possible, as per their policy and the remarks made by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 17 March 2021 (HL Deb cols 343–7).

His Majesty’s Government is committed to implementing protections for children from online pornography, including the provisions in Part 5 of the Online Safety Bill, as quickly as possible. The Government’s intention is to have the online safety regime operational as soon as possible after Royal Assent, while ensuring the necessary preparations are completed effectively and service providers understand what is expected. We are working closely with Ofcom to ensure this.

As set out in Ofcom’s Roadmap to Regulation, an important consideration for the implementation of Part 5 will be the need to ensure a consistency in approach across all providers of online pornography, including those hosting user-generated content subject to the duties of Part 3. This is to ensure the legislation effectively protects children from pornography, wherever it appears online. Ofcom also needs appropriate time and flexibility properly to produce and then consult relevant statutory consultees on the relevant guidance, including those who represent the interests of children.

Ofcom will be able to use its enforcement powers, including the power to issue a provisional notice of contravention relating to Part 5, once clause 68, which sets out the duties for regulated provider pornographic content, is commenced. We do not, however, expect to see sanctions applied, except in the most egregious cases, until Ofcom has worked with regulated entities to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and notice of the new regulatory framework. Before issuing any sanctions Ofcom will undertake a full and fair investigation of any suspected non-compliance.

The introduction of the Bill should be taken as a clear message to companies that they need to begin preparing for regulation now.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how long after completion of the passage of the Online Safety Bill they would expect Ofcom to have the power to issue the first provisional notice of contravention under Part 5 of that Bill.

His Majesty’s Government is committed to implementing protections for children from online pornography, including the provisions in Part 5 of the Online Safety Bill, as quickly as possible. The Government’s intention is to have the online safety regime operational as soon as possible after Royal Assent, while ensuring the necessary preparations are completed effectively and service providers understand what is expected. We are working closely with Ofcom to ensure this.

As set out in Ofcom’s Roadmap to Regulation, an important consideration for the implementation of Part 5 will be the need to ensure a consistency in approach across all providers of online pornography, including those hosting user-generated content subject to the duties of Part 3. This is to ensure the legislation effectively protects children from pornography, wherever it appears online. Ofcom also needs appropriate time and flexibility properly to produce and then consult relevant statutory consultees on the relevant guidance, including those who represent the interests of children.

Ofcom will be able to use its enforcement powers, including the power to issue a provisional notice of contravention relating to Part 5, once clause 68, which sets out the duties for regulated provider pornographic content, is commenced. We do not, however, expect to see sanctions applied, except in the most egregious cases, until Ofcom has worked with regulated entities to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and notice of the new regulatory framework. Before issuing any sanctions Ofcom will undertake a full and fair investigation of any suspected non-compliance.

The introduction of the Bill should be taken as a clear message to companies that they need to begin preparing for regulation now.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether it is possible for Internet Service Providers to block access to a website if a user is accessing it using (1) Domain Name System (DNS) over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), or (2) Domain Name System (DNS) over Transport Layer Security (TLS) by, for example, instead relying on Server Name Indication or the Online Certificate Status Protocol.

His Majesty’s Government takes the introduction of Domain Name System over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and over Transport Layer Security seriously, and is concerned about how implementation could affect users’ safety, as well as cybersecurity and the lawful interception of communications. His Majesty’s Government is actively engaging with industry representatives to ensure that it does not cause unintended consequences.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they expect the duties on user-to-user services created by the Online Safety Bill to apply when services are accessed via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and the service may not be able to know if the user is located in the UK.

The Online Safety Bill will apply to companies which allow users to post content online or to interact with each other, as well as to search services.

The Online Safety Bill will ensure that users in the UK are protected. It will apply to any relevant service which is ‘linked to the UK’, no matter where it is based. A service is linked to the UK if it has a significant number of UK users, UK users form a target market, or if it poses a material risk of significant harm to UK individuals.

The onus will be on companies to ensure that their systems are sufficiently effective. Ofcom will be able to take robust enforcement action against companies which fail to fulfil their duties.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) body, or (2) bodies, took over the responsibilities of the Millennium Commission when it disbanded in 2006.

Big Lottery Fund (operating as The National Lottery Community Fund) took on the property, rights and liabilities of the Millennium Commission when it ceased to exist by virtue of the National Lottery Act 2006.

The National Lottery Community Fund is a non-departmental public body which means that it operates at arm’s-length from Government and that, as a distributor of Lottery money, rather than of taxpayers’ funds, it makes its funding decisions independently.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to ensure the Urban Forest is preserved in its entirety as stipulated in the Deed of Dedication between the Millennium Commission and Sandwell Metropolitan Council.

The responsibility for enforcing Deeds entered into by the Millennium Commission is now the responsibility of the Big Lottery Fund (operating as The National Lottery Community Fund) which carries out those functions in accordance with their regulations and directions from DCMS and in line with current policies relating to the administration of legacy funders such as the Millennium Commission.

The National Lottery Community Fund is a non-departmental public body which means that it operates at arm’s-length from Government and, as a distributor of Lottery money, rather than of taxpayers’ funds, it makes its funding decisions independently. The Government cannot, therefore, intervene in or influence the Fund’s decision-making process.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the UK’s diversity will be reflected in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ceremonies have been developed by a diverse group of some of the finest creative talents the UK has to offer. This consists of Iqbal Khan as Artistic Director; Maeve Clarke as Writer; Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness as Music Director; Misty Buckley as Production Designer; Hamish Hamilton as Broadcast Director and Steven Knight CBE as Executive Producer.

They are bringing together some of the city’s most celebrated artists and promoting its emerging talent on a global stage. From Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi to vocalists Indigo Marshall and Gambini, they will welcome the Commonwealth to Birmingham and showcase the very best of the West Midlands and the whole of the UK to a global audience.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the make-up of the Commonwealth Games creative delivery team reflects the diversity of the UK.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ceremonies have been developed by a diverse group of some of the finest creative talents the UK has to offer. This consists of Iqbal Khan as Artistic Director; Maeve Clarke as Writer; Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness as Music Director; Misty Buckley as Production Designer; Hamish Hamilton as Broadcast Director and Steven Knight CBE as Executive Producer.

They are bringing together some of the city’s most celebrated artists and promoting its emerging talent on a global stage. From Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi to vocalists Indigo Marshall and Gambini, they will welcome the Commonwealth to Birmingham and showcase the very best of the West Midlands and the whole of the UK to a global audience.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the Commonwealth Games creative delivery team will ensure that content reflects diversity and avoids stereotypical imagery.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ceremonies have been developed by a diverse group of some of the finest creative talents the UK has to offer. This consists of Iqbal Khan as Artistic Director; Maeve Clarke as Writer; Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness as Music Director; Misty Buckley as Production Designer; Hamish Hamilton as Broadcast Director and Steven Knight CBE as Executive Producer.

They are bringing together some of the city’s most celebrated artists and promoting its emerging talent on a global stage. From Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi to vocalists Indigo Marshall and Gambini, they will welcome the Commonwealth to Birmingham and showcase the very best of the West Midlands and the whole of the UK to a global audience.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support the creation of programmes for young people since they stated that "the availability of new, engaging and relevant content for young audiences is of great societal importance", in their Contestable Fund Pilot: Supporting Young Audiences and Audio Content, published on 19 October 2018.

HM Government is committed to ensuring that young listeners and viewers benefit from a system of public service broadcasting which remains relevant and which can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future. That is why we are conducting a strategic review of public service broadcasting – drawing on the work of Ofcom, Select Committees in both Houses of Parliament, and the Government’s own expert PSB Advisory Panel – to work out how best to achieve this in light of the challenges the sector is currently facing.

The three-year pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was designed to test a new way of financing public service TV content. A full evaluation of the pilot Fund will take place following its conclusion to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK. The potential for further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

The Government is committed to the success of our world-leading TV production sector. UK-wide tax reliefs continue to play a vital role in driving production across children’s, animation, and high-end television, supporting approximately £2.2 billion production spending in these sectors through tax reliefs in 2019 alone. The Government continues to act to support the industry in developing the physical infrastructure and skills pipelines it needs to sustain success - success which has seen 2021 being a record-setting year, with total high-end TV production spend reaching more than £4 billion.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, (1) to renew, or (2) to replace, the Young Audience's Content Fund.

HM Government is committed to ensuring that young listeners and viewers benefit from a system of public service broadcasting which remains relevant and which can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future. That is why we are conducting a strategic review of public service broadcasting – drawing on the work of Ofcom, Select Committees in both Houses of Parliament, and the Government’s own expert PSB Advisory Panel – to work out how best to achieve this in light of the challenges the sector is currently facing.

The three-year pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was designed to test a new way of financing public service TV content. A full evaluation of the pilot Fund will take place following its conclusion to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK. The potential for further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

The Government is committed to the success of our world-leading TV production sector. UK-wide tax reliefs continue to play a vital role in driving production across children’s, animation, and high-end television, supporting approximately £2.2 billion production spending in these sectors through tax reliefs in 2019 alone. The Government continues to act to support the industry in developing the physical infrastructure and skills pipelines it needs to sustain success - success which has seen 2021 being a record-setting year, with total high-end TV production spend reaching more than £4 billion.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the factors that led to the creation of the Young Audience's Content Fund have changed to justify the ending of that fund.

HM Government is committed to ensuring that young listeners and viewers benefit from a system of public service broadcasting which remains relevant and which can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future. That is why we are conducting a strategic review of public service broadcasting – drawing on the work of Ofcom, Select Committees in both Houses of Parliament, and the Government’s own expert PSB Advisory Panel – to work out how best to achieve this in light of the challenges the sector is currently facing.

The three-year pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was designed to test a new way of financing public service TV content. A full evaluation of the pilot Fund will take place following its conclusion to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK. The potential for further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

The Government is committed to the success of our world-leading TV production sector. UK-wide tax reliefs continue to play a vital role in driving production across children’s, animation, and high-end television, supporting approximately £2.2 billion production spending in these sectors through tax reliefs in 2019 alone. The Government continues to act to support the industry in developing the physical infrastructure and skills pipelines it needs to sustain success - success which has seen 2021 being a record-setting year, with total high-end TV production spend reaching more than £4 billion.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to level up TV production now that the Young Audience's Content Fund has ceased.

HM Government is committed to ensuring that young listeners and viewers benefit from a system of public service broadcasting which remains relevant and which can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future. That is why we are conducting a strategic review of public service broadcasting – drawing on the work of Ofcom, Select Committees in both Houses of Parliament, and the Government’s own expert PSB Advisory Panel – to work out how best to achieve this in light of the challenges the sector is currently facing.

The three-year pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was designed to test a new way of financing public service TV content. A full evaluation of the pilot Fund will take place following its conclusion to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK. The potential for further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

The Government is committed to the success of our world-leading TV production sector. UK-wide tax reliefs continue to play a vital role in driving production across children’s, animation, and high-end television, supporting approximately £2.2 billion production spending in these sectors through tax reliefs in 2019 alone. The Government continues to act to support the industry in developing the physical infrastructure and skills pipelines it needs to sustain success - success which has seen 2021 being a record-setting year, with total high-end TV production spend reaching more than £4 billion.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to improve plurality of funding routes for culturally specific UK children's content.

HM Government is committed to ensuring that young listeners and viewers benefit from a system of public service broadcasting which remains relevant and which can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future. That is why we are conducting a strategic review of public service broadcasting – drawing on the work of Ofcom, Select Committees in both Houses of Parliament, and the Government’s own expert PSB Advisory Panel – to work out how best to achieve this in light of the challenges the sector is currently facing.

The three-year pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was designed to test a new way of financing public service TV content. A full evaluation of the pilot Fund will take place following its conclusion to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK. The potential for further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

The Government is committed to the success of our world-leading TV production sector. UK-wide tax reliefs continue to play a vital role in driving production across children’s, animation, and high-end television, supporting approximately £2.2 billion production spending in these sectors through tax reliefs in 2019 alone. The Government continues to act to support the industry in developing the physical infrastructure and skills pipelines it needs to sustain success - success which has seen 2021 being a record-setting year, with total high-end TV production spend reaching more than £4 billion.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that Ofcom’s regulation of the BBC is enhanced in the next five years.

The government established Ofcom as the BBC regulator to ensure the BBC is robustly held to account as the nation's broadcaster. Ofcom is independent of the government and the government has no say over Ofcom’s operational decisions

However, the Mid-Term Review of the Royal Charter offers an opportunity for the government to consider whether current governance and regulatory arrangements for the BBC are working effectively, including the effectiveness of the regulation by Ofcom. We will start the preparations now, ahead of the review starting formally next year, as the Royal Charter sets out.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why cuts were made to the final year of the Young Audiences Content Fund pilot; what assessment they made of (1) the effectiveness of that Fund, and (2) the need to provide notice of any changes to its funding.

Following a successful Spending Review, the Young Audiences Content Fund will continue into its third year and receive up to £10.7m for year 3 of the pilot scheme, totalling up to £44.2m for the three years.

As set out in the Contestable Fund scoping paper published in 2018, monitoring and evaluation of the Fund would inform the annual budget allocation over the course of the pilot. The 2021/22 funding awarded demonstrates a commitment to the value of children’s television programming in an exceptionally challenging fiscal climate, where some tough decisions have had to be made. DCMS has engaged continuously with the BFI, who administers the Fund, throughout the funding determination.

Although assessment of the funds is ongoing, the Year One review sets out a number of successes for the fund. As planned, a detailed evaluation of the scheme, against the criteria set out at launch, will take place this year before a decision is made on whether to close, continue or expand the Contestable Fund.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the cuts of the Young Audiences Content Fund pilot, what steps they are taking to ensure the pilot leads to a secure, well-supported and long-term future for that Fund.

Following a successful Spending Review, the Young Audiences Content Fund will continue into its third year and receive up to £10.7m for year 3 of the pilot scheme, totalling up to £44.2m for the three years.

As set out in the Contestable Fund scoping paper published in 2018, monitoring and evaluation of the Fund would inform the annual budget allocation over the course of the pilot. The 2021/22 funding awarded demonstrates a commitment to the value of children’s television programming in an exceptionally challenging fiscal climate, where some tough decisions have had to be made. DCMS has engaged continuously with the BFI, who administers the Fund, throughout the funding determination.

Although assessment of the funds is ongoing, the Year One review sets out a number of successes for the fund. As planned, a detailed evaluation of the scheme, against the criteria set out at launch, will take place this year before a decision is made on whether to close, continue or expand the Contestable Fund.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how their mid-term review of the BBC Charter will be informed by Ofcom’s review of the BBC’s operating licence.

Ofcom is independent of the government and the government has no say over Ofcom’s operational decisions. A review of the BBC's operating licence and service requirements is therefore for Ofcom as the BBC’s regulator.

The Mid-Term Review of the Royal Charter offers an opportunity for the government to consider whether current governance and regulatory arrangements for the BBC are working effectively, including the effectiveness of the regulation by Ofcom.

We will start the preparations now, ahead of the review starting formally next year, as the Royal Charter sets out.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that the BBC does not reduce the number of quotas related to delivering public value content, including those related to (1) radio, and (2) children’s programming.

The government is clear that the BBC has to provide high quality, distinctive content and services. However, it is ultimately a matter for Ofcom as the independent regulator on how to enforce these obligations through appropriate regulation. It is therefore for Ofcom, not the government, to set and amend quotas for the BBC’s public services.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of (1) pornographic websites, and (2) social media sites that contain pornography, that will be (a) Category 1 organisations, and (b) not Category 1 organisations, under the draft Online Safety Bill.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the most comprehensive approach in the world to protecting children online. Where pornographic websites or social media sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care. The government has not conducted a detailed sector-by-sector analysis of the services in scope of the Bill and the number of UK users accessing those services, given the breadth of services in scope of legislation. However, the online safety regime will capture both the pornography sites most visited by UK users and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography.

The exact list of Category 1 services has not yet been determined. We have set out how the process will work for designating Category 1 services. Thresholds will be set by the government about the number of users and functionalities of a service, following receipt of advice from Ofcom. This is to ensure the process is objective and evidence-based. Ofcom will then be required to assess services against these thresholds and publish a register of all those which meet both thresholds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of UK users of the organisations expected to be in within the scope of the draft Online Safety Bill that access (1) pornographic websites, and (2) social media sites that contain pornography

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the most comprehensive approach in the world to protecting children online. Where pornographic websites or social media sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care. The government has not conducted a detailed sector-by-sector analysis of the services in scope of the Bill and the number of UK users accessing those services, given the breadth of services in scope of legislation. However, the online safety regime will capture both the pornography sites most visited by UK users and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography.

The exact list of Category 1 services has not yet been determined. We have set out how the process will work for designating Category 1 services. Thresholds will be set by the government about the number of users and functionalities of a service, following receipt of advice from Ofcom. This is to ensure the process is objective and evidence-based. Ofcom will then be required to assess services against these thresholds and publish a register of all those which meet both thresholds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of organisations within the scope of the draft Online Safety Bill that are (1) pornographic websites, and (2) social media sites that contain pornography.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the most comprehensive approach in the world to protecting children online. Where pornographic websites or social media sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care. The government has not conducted a detailed sector-by-sector analysis of the services in scope of the Bill and the number of UK users accessing those services, given the breadth of services in scope of legislation. However, the online safety regime will capture both the pornography sites most visited by UK users and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography.

The exact list of Category 1 services has not yet been determined. We have set out how the process will work for designating Category 1 services. Thresholds will be set by the government about the number of users and functionalities of a service, following receipt of advice from Ofcom. This is to ensure the process is objective and evidence-based. Ofcom will then be required to assess services against these thresholds and publish a register of all those which meet both thresholds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the mid-term review of the BBC Charter not being conducted before the Ofcom review of public service broadcasting; and how will the review by Ofcom be used to inform the mid-term review of the BBC Charter.

Ofcom is required to conduct a review into public service broadcasting at least every five years and went out for consultation in December 2020. The report of its third review, "Public Service Broadcasting in the Internet Age", was published on 2 July 2015.

The concept and principles for the Mid-Term Review are set out in the BBC Royal Charter of 2016. The Royal Charter is clear that “the (mid-term) review must not be undertaken before 2022 and must be completed by 2024.”

Government officials shall be undertaking preparatory work ahead of the mid-term review starting formally next year, and will consult Ofcom on the scope, timing, and terms of reference in due course, as is required by the BBC Charter.

Further, the Charter requires that Ofcom conduct a periodic review of the BBC which looks at the extent to which the BBC is fulfilling its Mission and promoting each of the Public Purposes and addressing any specific issues of concern. This must be concluded in time to inform the Mid-Term Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Digital and Culture on 11 January (130006), what estimate they have made of the number of online pornography sites which (1) allow, and (2) do not allow, (a) user-generated content, or (b) user interaction; whether they keep a record of those sites; and if so, what plans they have to publish those records.

Where pornography sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care.

The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. In practice, we would anticipate that any commercial pornography site hosting user generated content or facilitating user-interaction will need to put in place robust measures such as age verification to prevent children from accessing it. This would then also protect children from any non user generated content as well.

We will continue to review our proposals to ensure we deliver the most comprehensive protections for children online.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Digital and Culture on 11 January (130006), to which online pornography sites their online harms proposals will apply.

Where pornography sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care.

The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. In practice, we would anticipate that any commercial pornography site hosting user generated content or facilitating user-interaction will need to put in place robust measures such as age verification to prevent children from accessing it. This would then also protect children from any non user generated content as well.

We will continue to review our proposals to ensure we deliver the most comprehensive protections for children online.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have, if any, that non-user generated pornography is not used to depict (1) rough sex practices, and (2) sexual violence.

The government will deliver the objective of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) to protect children from online pornography through the upcoming online safety legislation.

When taking the decision not to commence the relevant provisions in the DEA, the government concluded that there should be a coherent and comprehensive approach to protecting children online. This will be best achieved through the wider online harms proposals. The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. Taken together, we expect this to bring into scope more online pornography that children can currently access than the narrower scope of the Digital Economy Act, which did not include social media companies.

We are working at pace to develop the Online Safety Bill that will be ready this year. We are already working closely with Ofcom to ensure that the implementation period that will be necessary following passage of the legislation is as short as possible.

The reports on The Relationship Between Pornography Use and Harmful Sexual Behaviours were commissioned by a previous administration and are now available on gov.uk. The reports make it clear that there is not one single factor that leads someone to engage in harmful sexual behaviour, rather it is a combination of factors which interact with one another to differing effects on each individual. The literature review highlights that a direct causal link cannot be established between pornography and harmful sexual behaviour as this would require impractical and unethical study conditions (forced exposure to pornography).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the impact on children and young people of not introducing age verification for accessing commercial pornographic websites before they made the announcement that they would not be introducing such verification requirements.

The government will deliver the objective of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) to protect children from online pornography through the upcoming online safety legislation.

When taking the decision not to commence the relevant provisions in the DEA, the government concluded that there should be a coherent and comprehensive approach to protecting children online. This will be best achieved through the wider online harms proposals. The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. Taken together, we expect this to bring into scope more online pornography that children can currently access than the narrower scope of the Digital Economy Act, which did not include social media companies.

We are working at pace to develop the Online Safety Bill that will be ready this year. We are already working closely with Ofcom to ensure that the implementation period that will be necessary following passage of the legislation is as short as possible.

The reports on The Relationship Between Pornography Use and Harmful Sexual Behaviours were commissioned by a previous administration and are now available on gov.uk. The reports make it clear that there is not one single factor that leads someone to engage in harmful sexual behaviour, rather it is a combination of factors which interact with one another to differing effects on each individual. The literature review highlights that a direct causal link cannot be established between pornography and harmful sexual behaviour as this would require impractical and unethical study conditions (forced exposure to pornography).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to include protections for children from accessing commercial pornographic websites which do not allow user generated content or facilitate online user interaction in any forthcoming online harms legislation; and if they have any such plans, how.

The government will deliver the objective of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) to protect children from online pornography through the upcoming online safety legislation.

When taking the decision not to commence the relevant provisions in the DEA, the government concluded that there should be a coherent and comprehensive approach to protecting children online. This will be best achieved through the wider online harms proposals. The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. Taken together, we expect this to bring into scope more online pornography that children can currently access than the narrower scope of the Digital Economy Act, which did not include social media companies.

We are working at pace to develop the Online Safety Bill that will be ready this year. We are already working closely with Ofcom to ensure that the implementation period that will be necessary following passage of the legislation is as short as possible.

The reports on The Relationship Between Pornography Use and Harmful Sexual Behaviours were commissioned by a previous administration and are now available on gov.uk. The reports make it clear that there is not one single factor that leads someone to engage in harmful sexual behaviour, rather it is a combination of factors which interact with one another to differing effects on each individual. The literature review highlights that a direct causal link cannot be established between pornography and harmful sexual behaviour as this would require impractical and unethical study conditions (forced exposure to pornography).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) educational, (2) well-being, and (3) cultural, impact of allowing museums, galleries and heritage buildings to re-open.

There is clear evidence of an association between arts and culture participation and self-reported subjective wellbeing, even when social, economic and lifestyle factors are taken into account. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing found evidence that cultural engagement reduces stress and helps people to live longer and happier lives. During the first national lockdown, a DCMS study showed well-being increased with access to outdoor space, often accessed at heritage sites.

Learning is at the heart of museums, galleries and heritage sites. Many identify as delivering education as their primary function. In the public consultation for the Mendoza Review, 85% of over 1,200 respondents felt that museums and galleries are primarily places for education.

Museums, galleries and heritage sites contribute to positive social outcomes at a local level, making places more attractive to businesses and residents.

Our roadmap is driven by the latest evidence on the risk of transmission. We are therefore reopening outdoor settings before indoor settings, and reopening relatively low risk indoor settings where household mixing is less likely to take place at an earlier step, including retail, personal care and exercise facilities.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the impact of the loss of business during (1) Easter, (2) other school holidays, and (3) May, on museums, galleries and heritage buildings.

The Department has been working closely with stakeholders across museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout the pandemic, and do not underestimate the significant impact that the closure - and subsequent loss of visitors and in-person access - has had.

In the roadmap laid out by the Prime Minister, outdoor activity has been prioritised because the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission is substantially lower in the open air than indoors. From 29th March, groups of six, or two households will be able to meet outside and socialise outdoors at heritage sites, with seasonal offers including Easter walking trails.

In the Budget,the Chancellor announced extensions to measures which have supported museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout the pandemic. These include extending the COVID Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme until September 2021; hospitality VAT set at 5% until July 2021; and a new programme of business loans.

Building on the £100m awarded to DCMS-Sponsored Arm’s Length Bodies, (including national museums and galleries) in 20-21, the government will now provide an additional £90m to mitigate the financial impacts of Covid-19.

We have made a record investment in cultural and creative sectors, including museums, galleries and heritage buildings - nearly £2 billion (including additional support for the Culture Recovery Fund and £500 million on the Film and TV Restart scheme). These are unprecedented sums.


Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)