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Debate: online abuse

25 April 2019

On Monday 29 April, MPs will debate a petition on online abuse, following the Petitions Committee's inquiry into online abuse and the experience of disabled people.


Timing of the debate

The debate will start at 4.30pm and be opened by Helen Jones MP, the Chair of the Petitions Committee.


Why is this petition being debated?

The Petitions Committee undertook an inquiry into online abuse and the experience of disabled people, following a petition started by Katie Price. The Petitions Committee produced a report on this inquiry, which received a response from the Government.

The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall.


What will the petition debate achieve?

Debates on petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the petition.

MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government's position on the issue or press the Government to take action.

A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised.

These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.

Petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.

Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as "backbenchers") can ask Parliament to consider new laws.


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