Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General, responding to the announcement today by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that full guidance is on the way for how the authorities should treat offensive comments on Twitter, said:
"We welcome the DPP’s decision but it is long overdue. Social media users are not above the law, but the Crown Prosecution Service must exercise its discretion to prosecute with common sense and proportionality.
"The announcement is a tacit admission from the DPP that Paul Chambers, the defendant in the Twitter joke trial, was dragged through the courts for nothing. In that case the law and its enforcers were made to look an ass.
"The Attorney General bears some responsibility for that. All he has done to date is state the obvious, namely that the law still applies on the internet. No grown-up would disagree with that. He has ducked the more difficult and urgent task of advising how it is to be applied in a transformed media landscape. This is what must happen now."