HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 cc590-1W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the proposed changes to film classification in respect of(a) sex and (b) violence. [134704]

Mr. Straw

I have been asked to reply.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) published its revised classification guidelines in respect of film and video on 14 September. The guidelines reflect the outcome of an extensive consultation and research exercise into public opinion undertaken by the Board. Under the new guidelines, the Board will be more restrictive in the lower classifications on violence, drugs and bad language.

In respect of material classified in the Restricted 18 (R18) category, which is only available in licensed sex shops to those aged 18 and over, the hon. Member may recall that, on 24 July, the Government published a consultation paper to consider whether there were any additional steps that could be taken to protect children from exposure to sexually explicit material contained in videos given an R18 classification by the Board. The consultation period closed on 31 October.