Nicola Roberts refuses to support government’s online hate bill

Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts says she refused the government’s request to endorse its Online Safety Bill, due to “loopholes” in the legislation.


The singer said was asked to “champion” the bill after suffering abuse, harassment, and online stalking.


But she said the draft bill does not do enough to stop people who’ve been banned from setting up new accounts.


“I am unconcerned with chasing the rabbit,” she said in a statement. “I would rather just fill the hole.”


Roberts said she had been invited to discuss the bill by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) two weeks ago.


Although the meeting was private, she said the racist abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka after Sunday’s Euro 2020 final Sunday strengthened her conviction that the legislation needed to be tougher.

“The online racism we have seen since last night’s England game targeted at, in particular, a 19-year-old is despicable,” she said.


“Regardless of whether an abuser’s account is blocked or taken down, perpetrators make the time to start another and start again. It highlights why those loopholes need to be filled and this has to stop!”


The BBC has contacted the DCMS for a response.

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