Online Safety Bill rebellion by Tories on cards

January 16, 2023


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could face a backbench rebellion over the government’s plans to prevent harmful material on the internet.

According to reports, 36 MP Conservative MPs are backing a plan to make social media bosses face prison if they fail to protect children from damaging content online.

This idea was originally suggested by former PM Boris Johnson but was later dropped.

The amendment to the Online Safety Bill is due to be voted on by the House of Commons this week.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said she was “not ruling out” accepting any of the amendments.


Speaking to the BBC she said she was “strongly in favour of bolstering protection for children” and would take “a sensible approach” when considering MPs’ ideas.

The rebellion follows other significant backbench revolts in recent weeks over housing targets for councils and restrictions on onshore wind farms.

On both of those issues, the prime minister backed down and offered concessions to avoid defeat in the House of Commons on January 17.

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