MP steering the Digital Economy Bill steps down

Sion Simon

Labour MP Sin Simon, the MP in charge of steering the controversial Digital Economy Bill through parliament, is to step down.

Simon is a junior minister for creative ministries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Alongside Stephen Timms, he's been in charge of directing the bill through parliament.

The Digital Economy Bill includes some controversial aspects, including tough moves against piracy and a promise to roll-out 2Mbps broadband across the country.

It grew from the Digital Britain report, which was created by Stephen Carter before he also stepped down.

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said the resignation was a "complete farce."

"First Stephen Carter, now Sin Simon this resignation is another chapter in the sorry story of Labour's disastrous approach to Britain's digital future," he told the Guardian newspaper. "It is a complete farce that a minister responsible should resign his post so close to the digital economy bill arriving in the House of Commons."

Simon announced the move yesterday, saying on his website: "After nine years in Parliament (and a Minister in two departments), it has become clear to me that the answers to Birmingham's problems do not lie in Westminster and Whitehall. We need to take back control of our own city."

He added: "As a result, I will not be seeking re-election as MP for Birmingham Erdington this year. I hope that Birmingham people will see this as my badge of commitment to the city."

Simon is expected to leave his role in the Government's recess this month, and not stand for re-election this spring.