‘Life-saving legislation’ - Batley and Spen MP delighted by final passing of Zach’s Law
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Named after Liversedge youngster Zach Eagling, who has epilepsy, the law was included in the Online Safety Bill which cleared its final hurdle in the House of Commons this week. It now makes it illegal, without good cause, to send flashing images by email or social media if a person with epilepsy might see it.
The maximum sentence for anyone found guilty is five years in jail.
Kim helped persuade the government to pass the law after meeting Zach and his mum Claire Keer. Zach had been a victim of malicious targeting on social media with posts designed to cause him to have seizures.
Kim said: “There are many things I love about being an MP. Standing up for what I believe in. Working hard for my constituents. Helping to make our country a fairer, more just place. But this is the first time I can say a constituent has changed the law – and at such a young age.
“When I went to his house in the beautiful village of Hartshead I was knocked out by Zach. He’s a force to be reckoned with. For many years, vile online trolls have targeted people with epilepsy, sending them flashing images and GIFs, trying to trigger a seizure. Zach stood up against this.
“When he asked me to help, along with Claire and the Epilepsy Society, I was only too happy to do everything I could. It’s been a long and difficult campaign, with the Online Safety Bill delayed by ministers again and again, but we have finally got there.
“I will always remember when Zach visited me in Parliament. So many MPs wanted to meet him and have a photograph taken, and rightly so: he’d inspired potentially life-saving legislation.”