Rob Flello, shadow justice minister, commented on the defamation bill’s publication:

“The draft defamation bill builds on the important work Labour started in government to bring libel laws into the 21st century.

“It is important we bring to an end libel tourism which damages Britain’s reputation. Protection under the law must be available to everyone, whatever their means, while ensuring the public interest is served by a free press.

“We need to strike a balance between the rights people have to protect their privacy and reputation and allowing the media the freedom to report what’s in the public interest. The devil will be in the detail of this bill and how it will bring libel laws up to date and in line with a growing online media.

“To achieve this balance, the Tory-led government must ensure that this bill receives full and proper scrutiny through a wide ranging consultation.”