Britain’s MPs have been criticised for the poor turnout for yesterday’s discussion about the controversial Digital Economy Bill.
The Telegraph reports that at its peak only 40 MPs were present in the Commons for the DEB debate, and this sank as low as just 15 Parliamentary members at one point. In total this represents just five per cent of the House.
In contrast, 5,000 individuals were thought to have discussed the subject on Twitter throughout the course of the debate.
“Despite all the opposition to this Bill from without and within Parliament, barely a handful of MPs turned up and spoke in the debate,” a spokesman for Pirate Party UK told the paper.
The Open rights Group added: “This Bill is the victim of one of the worst lobbying scandals of this Parliament. Parliamentary scrutiny must be applied. The sheer level of interference from lobbyists demands MPs do their job – or drop the controversial clauses.
“Over 20,000 voters have written to MPs and raised funds for adverts, because we know disconnection of families for allegations of copyright infringement is a draconian punishment, and need to be fully debated, not rammed through at the last minute.”
Regarding the future of the Bill, some reports state that last-minute Conservative backing will see it passed through Parliament in the wash-up period before May’s General Election. The Lib Dems have also indicated that they will support it if a few tweaks are made.
Likely sacrifices to speed up its passing into law include the dropping of the £6 per year broadband tax and proposed changes to Ofcom. The policies regarding PEGI and games ratings are expected to remain unaltered.
There have been claims, however, that due to the heated debate sparked by the DEB it could be shelved until after the Election.