Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting ahead of tomorrow's crucial debate on the Defamation Bill, said:
“We need to modernise our defamation laws if we're to strike the right balance between upholding free speech and protecting against damaged reputations. I urge MPs on all sides to accept the improvements made to the Bill led by Labour peers in the House of Lords. We need to grasp this once in a generation opportunity to update our defamation laws to suit the challenges of the time, and complete the cross-party work begun under Labour in 2009.
“The Bill before the Commons tomorrow is markedly better than the government's original proposals, which Labour sought to improve at every turn. In particular, it's crucial that we prevent large and powerful institutions using the mere threat of defamation proceedings to chill free speech. That’s why we will be voting against Conservative attempts to change the safeguards introduced in the House of Lords which would stop a big institution from using their financial and legal might to intimidate scientists and academics. We hope the Liberal Democrats will abide by their manifesto commitments on this issue and support Labour in defeating Conservative attempts at diluting the Bill.”<div>