Amendment 67

Part of Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 4:30 pm ar 13 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Clement-Jones Lord Clement-Jones Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Science, Innovation and Technology) 4:30, 13 Mawrth 2024

My Lords, despite the shortness of this debate, we have had some very fine and inspiring speeches. We on these Benches wholly support the amendment moved by the noble Baroness, Lady Stowell. Indeed, like the noble Lord, Lord Robertson, I find it extraordinary that we do not have this already on the statute book. Given the importance of pluralism and freedom of speech in our media, the thought of foreign Governments impacting on our media in the way that is currently threatened seems quite extraordinary.

My main purpose is to associate myself with the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth. When he moved his regret amendment, he talked about the ownership by the UAE of a UK quality newspaper. I have spent the last 10 years campaigning for the release of Ryan Cornelius from a Dubai jail. He was unjustly imprisoned on trumped-up fraud charges, and his sentence was arbitrarily extended by 20 years in 2018, just as he was due to be released. He now faces the prospect of many more years in jail. I am all too aware of the reality that lies behind the pleasant-looking tourist Dubai. Parliament should definitely have its say before a UK newspaper falls into the hands of such a Government. All this is a result of the activities of a member of the royal court of Dubai, so it very close to home in the UAE. Not only do we as a party on these Benches wholly support this amendment, but I personally feel very strongly about the need for it.