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Labour blasts Tories for failing to protect public from online scams in key bill

Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens told the party’s annual conference in Brighton that more than £2.3 billion was lost to victims of fraud in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year

Labour’s Jo Stevens speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton

Labour blasted the Government for leaving scams out of its online harms bill.

Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens told the party’s annual conference in Brighton that more than £2.3 billion was lost to victims of fraud in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year.

But critics have warned there is not enough in the draft bill to protect the public from cloned websites, scams and digital fraudsters.

Ms Stevens said four years on from promising “world leading” legislation, “we’ve got is a weak and watered-down Online Safety Bill that doesn’t even satisfy the basic duty of government – to keep its citizens safe.”

“Financial campaigner Martin Lewis has called for it,” she said. “Victims, City of London Police and the FCA have too, but the Conservatives say no.









“Well Labour will do what the Tory Government won’t.

“We’ll fight inside and outside Parliament for better legislation that protects the public against the fraudsters and scammers.”

Ms Stevens blasted the Tories for not “taking [the Department for Culture, Media and Sport] seriously.”

Boris Johnson this month promoted Nadine Dorries to be the 11th Culture Secretary in as many years.

“They just see it as a stepping-stone to higher office,” she told conference.

“What sort of message does that send to the sector – to the people who work in it?

“DCMS is my absolute dream job but I want to do it in government not in opposition.”

In May, MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis, Which? Magazine and 15 more organisations joined forces, writing to Home Secretary Priti Patel and then Digital Minister Caroline Dineage, urging them to use the online harms bill to protect the public from the devastating financial and emotional harm caused by these crimes.

In response, a Government spokesperson said: “The Government is working closely with industry, regulators, law enforcement and consumer groups to tackle online fraud.

“This includes our Online Advertising Programme, which will consider further regulation relating to online advertising to reduce online harms, recruiting more police with specialist skills as part of our commitment to recruit 20,000 new officers, and providing scam reporting and takedown services to remove malicious or fraudulent websites.”


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