Minister’s resignation to delay Digital Economy Bill

The Digital Economy Bill has received a setback after Sion Simon offered to quit as an MP.

Simon, who was appointed last year to push through the new legislation, said he would resign next Thursday to bid for the post of Birmingham mayor.

The Bill, which evolved from Lord Carter's Digital Britain plan that was published last June, is currently in the committee stage at the House of Lords. The committee will meet again today to discuss anti-digital piracy measures in the Bill.

Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said: "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."