A Christian MP has called on the Government to introduce robust age-verification controls on pornography without further delay.
Parliament approved controls in December 2018, but after several delays the Government dropped the plans last October – a move which is now being challenged in the High Court.
While there have been suggestions the plans could be revived in a future Bill, this could delay implementation until 2024, and Fiona Bruce MP said Ministers needed to act more quickly to protect children.
Speaking in a House of Commons debate, Mrs Bruce said the “profound harm” caused to children by easily available pornography is an issue of “deep concern” to parents.
“Government has stated many times its intentions, not least in our 2015 manifesto, to better protect children from online harms.
“Yet I regret to say it has not followed this up with appropriately expeditious action. Action which is urgently needed, particularly bearing in mind that lockdown has increased higher digital use by children.”
The MP for Congleton added that she was “not alone” in her concerns, and that many other MPs are “similarly extremely concerned”.
She called on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to “expedite work on this so several more years do not pass before children are better protected from the profound harms which seeing pornography online can cause”.
She added: “We cannot make the internet safe, but we can make it safer.”