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Claire Perry MP to advise the Prime Minister on “preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood”

By Peter Hoskin
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CPParliament may be about to shut down for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean the business of politics has stopped. The Prime Minister has a fairly significant article in today’s Daily Mail on the Government’s plans for protecting children from the “darkest corners of the Internet”. Apparently, under those plans, people switching on their computers for the first time will be asked if there are children in their house. If they answer “yes”, they will be prompted to apply a whole range of filters to their web browsers.

Later in the article, Mr Cameron also reveals that Claire Perry has been appointed as his special adviser on “preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood”. This has, of course, been a cause of Ms Perry’s for some time. Earlier this year, she chaired an independent Parliamentary Inquiry into protecting children online, whose report can be read here. In September, she delivered a petition to No.10 asking for an “automatic block” on online porn, by which over-18s would have to contact their internet service providers if they wanted to access adult material.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this forms part of a renewed drive on family policy in 2013. It’s striking how Mr Cameron’s article emphasises both that he is a “father of three young children,” and that Ms Perry is a “mother of three”. There are some government advisers who believe that this is an area where the Conservatives can really distinguish themselves — and mend relations with female voters, in particular, in the process.

In any case, here’s the statement that Ms Perry has released about her appointment:

“I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has asked me to be his adviser on preventing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. I am very much looking forward to helping the Government introduce more robust filters for internet content in our homes, working to improve age rating information on music videos, helping to improve education for parents and children about online safety and making sure the other excellent recommendations of the Bailey Report are implemented”.


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