The UK Government was due to have provided its response to the final recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) this week. Six months after those recommendations, which of course followed a seven year inquiry, the Home Secretary has said that there will be a delay in the Government response. 

While there has been an indication that the government intends to move forward with the recommendation for mandatory reporting there has been no indication of the likely response to the other 19 recommendations. The main reason for the delay seems to be that, as there are due to be local elections in May, the government would not want the media interest in those elections to mean the response re IICSA is overshadowed. No date has been given other than there will be a response in May. 

Separately, on Tuesday Alexander Stafford MP sought to introduce a bill which would "make provision for the purpose of preventing a person who has failed to discharge a duty in respect of child sexual abuse offences from holding any elected office, from holding public office and from holding any post the remuneration of which is paid out of money provided by Parliament; to provide for the disqualification from any elected or appointed office of a person who has been convicted of child sexual abuse offences; to provide for the removal of a peerage from a person who has been convicted of child sexual abuse offences; and for connected purposes."

An obvious example of where this bill if passed would be effective is if a scenario arose as it did with Jimmy Savile and his peerage. The second reading for this bill is not until November which suggests it is not seen as a high priority. 

Finally, and as referenced in an earlier blog this week, the Online Safety Bill has continued its tortuous progress with further consideration at committee stage in the House of Lords. 

The amendments debated including the extension of senior management liability, a requirement that providers of the largest online services publish summaries of their risk assessments for illegal content and content that is harmful to children, and the addition of priority offences to strengthen the Bill’s illegal content duties. 

Those offences relate to controlling or coercive behaviour, illegal immigration and modern slavery and the foreign interference offence being introduced by the National Security Bill. Providers will be required to proactively tackle content and activity amounting to these offences. These committee stage discussions will continue next week.