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New Deal 2024: Digital, Creative and Commercial reforms

05 July 2024

What regulatory changes regarding digital, creative and commerce should we expect from the new Labour government? Generally, Labour want a pro-business environment, with a competition and regulatory framework, that supports innovation, investment, and high-quality jobs.

Their key manifesto pledges are set out here. 


Online safety

Labour says that children and young people face significant harm online, with inappropriate content too easily available at their fingertips on a smartphone. It also talks about an increase in extreme misogynistic content online driving a culture of violence against women. Labour will build on the Online Safety Act 2023, bringing forward provisions as quickly as possible, and explore further measures to keep everyone safe online, particularly when using social media. It will also give coroners more powers to access information held by technology companies after a child’s death.

Labour will introduce a new expanded fraud strategy to tackle the full range of threats, including online, public sector and serious fraud. It will work with technology companies to stop their platforms being exploited by fraudsters.

AI investment and regulation

Labour says that it will ensure that the UK’s industrial strategy supports the development of the AI sector. It will also create a National Data Library to bring together existing research programmes and help deliver data-driven public services, whilst maintaining strong safeguards and aiming to ensure that everyone benefits.

Labour will also create a new Regulatory Innovation Office, bringing together existing functions across government. This office would be aimed at helping regulators update regulation, speed up approval timelines, and co-ordinate issues that span existing boundaries. It aims to ensure the safe development and use of AI models by introducing binding regulation on the companies developing the most powerful AI models.


Age restricted products

Labour would also legislate along similar lines to the Tobacco and Vapes Bill with a progressive ban and it would also stop vapes from being branded and advertised to appeal to children.

Labour would also ban the advertising of junk food and the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to under-16s.

It also says that it is committed to reducing gambling-related harm and would reform gambling regulation, strengthening protections.

It says that it will ban ninja swords, zombie-style blades and machetes, and strengthen rules to prevent their online sales. Its manifesto says that executives of online companies that flout these rules will be personally held to account through tough sanctions.

Creative industries sector plan

Labour will implement its creative industries sector plan as part of its Industrial Strategy, creating good jobs and accelerating growth in film, music, gaming, and other creative sectors.

Labour also says that access to music, drama and sport has become difficult and expensive because of ticket touting. It plans to introduce new consumer protections on ticket resales.

Football governance

Labour have said that they will bring forward a football governance bill along the lines of the Bill that was abandoned when the 2024 General Election was called.


Business support

Labour will replace the business rates system, aiming to level the playing field between the high street and online giants, but there is no further detail at present.

Late payments

Labour will take action on late payments to ensure small businesses and the self-employed are paid on time.

Electric vehicles

Labour will also support the transition to electric vehicles by accelerating the roll out of charge points, giving certainty to manufacturers by restoring the phase-out date of 2030 for new cars with internal combustion engines, and supporting buyers of second-hand electric cars by standardising the information supplied on the condition of batteries.

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