In Brief

What does the Caroline Flack petition say?

Signatures call for a memorial law to be passed making media harassment a criminal offence

A petition asking for MPs to “end the harassment and bullying by the British press” after Caroline Flack’s death has been handed in to the government after receiving a wave of support.

More than 850,000 people have signed the petition calling for “Caroline's Law,” which would make media harassment a criminal offence “not dissimilar to corporate manslaughter”.

Flack, 40, was found dead at her home in east London last month. Her family said she had taken her own life.

The Love Island presenter had been due to go on trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, and had been subject to significant scrutiny in the press and on social media.

Her suicide has seen questions raised about the role of the tabloid media in her demise.

“In the raw, shocked aftermath of the news, many on Twitter – high-profile comedians and entertainers such as Jack Whitehall and Carrie Hope Fletcher, media types with dozens of thousands of followers – are pointing their fingers at the trolls and the tabloids,” wrote Alice Vincent in The Daily Telegraph.

“It all feels strangely reminiscent of what happened after Amy Winehouse died,” Vincent added. “How we all flocked to celebrate the woman we had merrily read denigrations of in the press just days and months before.”

Yesterday morning, the 38 Degrees campaign group posted a video on Facebook to say their petition - one of several set up in Flack's memory - was delivered to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

A government spokesperson said: “There are established systems in place to regulate the press and we are developing world-leading laws to put a new duty of care on online companies towards their users.”

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