Tory MP asked if he's ever received a 'd**k pic' during online safety bill debate

Tory MP asked if he's ever received a 'd**k pic' during online safety bill debate
Summer online safety tips for kids

When technology minister Chris Philp trotted down to parliament to debate the government's online safety bill this week, he probably was prepared to field questions about potential amendments, tweaks and issues - but not dick pics.

But that is exactly what happened, when discussing tightening amendments to stop cyber-flashing, the minister was asked if he had ever received an unsolicited photo of a penis.

Philp had been talking about striking "a balance" and thinking about intent when people exchange intimate images when Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones asked: "Has the minister ever received a dick pic?"

"Is that a rhetorical question?" Philp replied, to which Davies-Jones said "no", causing Philp to reveal he hadn't received one.

"So he cannot possibly know how it feels to receive one," Davies-Jones replied. "I appreciate the comments that he is trying to make, and that this is a fine balance, but I do see this specific issue of sending a photograph or film of genitals as black and white: they are sent either with or without consent. It is as simple as that."

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Philp said people may "misjudge" situations and could "essentially by accident" commit an offence. "If we replace the word 'intent' with 'without consent', the risk is that someone who does something essentially by accident will have committed a criminal offence," he said.

The bill is making its way through parliament and includes a clause that could see people serve a maximum sentence of two years in prison if they send unsolicited sexual images.

When it was announced, culture secretary Nadine Dorries said: "The forthcoming Online Safety Bill will force tech companies to stop their platforms being used to commit vile acts of cyber flashing. We are bringing the full weight on individuals who perpetrate this awful behaviour."

But some think it doesn't go far enough, as illustrated by the discussion in parliament. After the debate, Davies-Jones tweeted:

Never a dull moment in Westminster.

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