I have backed proposed changes in law to tackle the people smugglers and criminal gangs behind the English Channel small boats crisis.
I have supported an amendment to the Online Safety Bill tabled by my Conservative colleague, Natalie Elphicke, the MP for Dover. The amendment will create a new criminal offence of intentionally sharing a photograph or film that facilitates or promotes modern slavery or illegal immigration.
With the majority of crossings now involving Albanians, Natalie Elphicke spoke in Parliament about examples of people smugglers posting videos online in Albanian with comments like: “At 8 o’clock the next departure, hurry to catch the road” and “The trips continue, contact us, we are the best and the fastest”.
More than 44,000 people have crossed the Channel this year. Parliament was told how people smugglers are brazenly and openly using social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Thanks to the Natalie Elphicke's amendment and other MPs like me who have supported it, Government Ministers have agreed to look at changes to the bill at its next stages in Parliament.