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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Katie Price will tell MPs about how trolls target her son Harvey in landmark parliamentary inquiry into online abuse

  • Ex-glamour model will give evidence to Petitions Committee from 2.30pm today
  • She wants a new UK law to be created to make online trolling a criminal offence 
  • Price and her mother will speak on personal experiences from raising Harvey
  • Reality TV star appeared before committee to help combat trolls two years ago
Katie Price will today tell MPs about how trolls targeted her son Harvey in a landmark parliamentary inquiry into online abuse.
The ex-glamour model will give evidence to the Petitions Committee from 2.30pm this afternoon in a session via video link.
Price, 42, wants a new UK law - which she has dubbed 'Harvey's Law' - to be created to make online trolling a specific criminal offence.
Katie Price, pictured outside Parliament with her son Harvey in 2018, will give evidence to the Petitions Committee from 2.30pm this afternoon in a session via video link
Katie Price, pictured outside Parliament with her son Harvey in 2018, will give evidence to the Petitions Committee from 2.30pm this afternoon in a session via video link
She also wants a register of people found guilty of online abuse. 
The reality TV star and her mother, Amy Price, will answer questions about online abuse drawing from their personal experiences while raising Harvey.
Price previously told MPs: 'I know I'm here because it started off because Harvey and his disabilities but this isn't just for people with disabilities.
'It will help everybody. Like me or hate me, I'm here to protect others.'
The reality TV star appeared before a parliamentary committee two years ago in an attempt to help combat trolls hurling racist abuse at 18-year-old Harvey, who is blind and has a range of health problems which hamper his speech.
Price's petition in 2017 to criminalise trolling has received over 220,000 signatures, and led to a parliamentary inquiry into online abuse.
The House of Commons Petitions Committee, pictured. Price's petition in 2017 to criminalise trolling has received over 220,000 signatures
The House of Commons Petitions Committee, pictured. Price's petition in 2017 to criminalise trolling has received over 220,000 signatures
Price, 42, wants a new UK law - which she has dubbed 'Harvey's Law' - to be created to make online trolling a specific criminal offence (pictured, February 2018)
Price, 42, wants a new UK law - which she has dubbed 'Harvey's Law' - to be created to make online trolling a specific criminal offence (pictured, February 2018)
The Petitions Committee recommended legal protections for disabled people suffering from hate crime in its findings published in January last year.
A new inquiry, called 'Tackling Online Abuse', will 'look again at the experiences of people who have faced online abuse, while focusing primarily on potential solutions for its reduction and prevention, legally, socially and technologically'.
As part of the investigation, the Committee will 'scrutinise' the Government's response to online abuse and 'continue to press on the action it needs to take'.
It follows The Only Way is Essex star, Bobby Norris, speaking to MPs about his experiences of homophobic abuse, after his petition on tackling online abuse raised more than 133,000 signatures.
Catherine McKinnell, Chair of the Petitions Committee, said: 'Online abuse is a silent menace, and our new inquiry is an eleventh hour bid to put an end to it before it spirals out of control. 
'With social distancing rules, people are spending ever more of their lives online.
'The importance of doing something about this issue before it causes more damage is greater than ever. 
'If we don't take action soon, then there is a real risk that a whole new generation will be irretrievably exposed to and harmed by online abuse.
'I'm pleased to welcome Katie back to the Committee after first meeting her during her campaign against online abuse last year. 
'Her bravery in sharing her personal experiences of the abuse she has endured alongside her son Harvey will shine a light on key issues, and will help this new landmark investigation find practical and technological solutions to the problem.'
The Labour MP added: 'The Government has failed to make sufficient progress on preventing online abuse, and our inquiry represents a watershed moment where we can either take action to deal with this crisis or leave it free to cause its harm in so many aspects of modern life. 
'We are calling for evidence from expert witnesses in this area and the general public, and our Committee will conduct its investigation over the coming weeks and months as we hold the Government to account on this issue.'

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