U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Concerned Over New Porn Regs

Dec 15, 2014 12:45 PM PST

LONDON — Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today sided with the U.K. porn industry, saying that he has concerns over new regulations that forbid U.K.-based online adult operators from distributing harder explicit content.

“It is not a prurient judgment of whether we approve or not of someone’s behavior of the privacy of their bedroom. It is not the role of politicians to cast moral judgments on that,” Clegg said at his monthly conference today.

“It’s whether we think that in a free society, people should be free to do things that many people might find exotic at mildest or deeply unappetizing at worst, but it’s their freedom to do so. That seems to me to be is a classic liberal assertion.

“It’s not really for us to judge how people get their kicks.”

Clegg, with his speech, joined a number of members of Parliament who have complained about the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, which took effect Dec. 1,

The new regs forbid U.K.-based online adult operators from distributing content that includes acts of female ejaculation, spanking, fisting, water sports, face-sitting, full bondage and other types of strong explicit content. The rules mirror BBFC R18 requirements for physical content sold at brick-and-mortar stores.

Last week, MP Julian Huppert tabled an Early Day Motion in the House, but he has yet secured a Commons debate over annulling the laws.

Fellow members of Parliament David Ward, John Leech and Mike Hancock have sided with Huppert in opposition to the law.

Taking the side of the adult filmmaking industry, Clegg now pits himself in an opposing view of Prime Minister David Cameron, who feels the new regs are "very important."

According to the London Evening Standard, Cameron told a conference in London last week that “we should try and apply the same rule whether you’re visiting a shop in a high street or visiting a store on the Internet.”

“In Britain we have rules about how you can buy pornography in the shop," Cameron said. "I believe we should try and make sure you apply those rules when you buy pornography online.”

 “We’re trying to make sure that when something is a crime, it is prosecuted and convicted wherever it takes place,” Cameron said. “My view is that should happen whether it’s online or offline."

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