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Richmond Park News: 14 April 2023


Advancements within Artificial Intelligence pose significant risks to creative workers, who rely on copyright protections to receive payment and recognition for their work. Many AI developers are already utilising existing text, imagery and music to train their platforms without obtaining a licence for the copyright.

The Government recently published the AI Regulation White Paper, which sets out its approach to regulating artificial intelligence. Although I am pleased to see work is being done to develop appropriate regulation, I am concerned that the Government’s approach will not sufficiently protect the copyrights of creative workers.

I previously held a Westminster Hall debate on the potential impact of AI on intellectual property rights for creative workers. During this debate, the Minister committed to re-opening consultation with creative industries to develop proposals that would protect the intellectual property rights of creatives whilst also fostering innovation within AI. If you would like to read a transcript of my debate from February, you can do so here.

Following a re-structuring of Government Departments and the creation of the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Ministerial responsibility for the Intellectual Property Office has been awarded to Viscount Camrose. In light of this and recent developments in AI regulation, I wrote to the Minister to set out my concerns and to ask for clarification over how copyright protections will be upheld through regulation of AI, and for a commitment to re-opening consultation with the creative industries. You can read a copy of this letter here.


Households belonging to heat networks, and those with other forms of communal energy provision, receive support with energy through the business scheme. This month, the Energy Bills Relief Scheme which has been in place for businesses since October 2022 is being replaced by Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This new scheme offers a discount on the wholesale price of energy, rather than a cap on costs, and is much less generous.

At the end of last month, my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I wrote to the Minister for Energy to ask for clarity over what the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme will mean for our constituents belonging to heat networks. You can read a copy of this letter here.

Although we are still awaiting a response to our letter, the Government has separately stated that heat networks will be eligible for the higher rate of support offered to Energy Intensive Business through a Written Question response. You can view this commitment here.

The Government has repeatedly promised that domestic consumers without a standard energy contract would receive ‘equivalent’ support to other households. It is vital that they honour this commitment and I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure that heat network households are not financially disadvantaged. If you would like to join my mailing list to receive updates about the support offered to such households, please send an email to with the subject title ‘heat networks’.