The Only Way Is Essex Bobby Norris has anti-homophobia petition debated in ...

MPs have called on the Government to take 'urgent action' against online homophobia after debating a petition started by The Only Way Is Essex star Bobby Norris.

The reality star, 32, sat in the Commons public gallery today as MPs debated his online petition, which accumulated more than 152,000 signatures.

His campaign calls for online homophobia to be made a specific offence, as current legislation was passed before the internet 'as we know it today'. 

Norris was thanked by Shadow women and equalities minister and Labour MP Dawn Butler and earlier told the BBC people have told him he should 'get cancer' and 'have acid thrown in his face' because of his sexuality. 

He also had the support of openly gay MPs Angela Eagle, Luke Pollard and Martin Docherty during the debate.  

TOWIE star Bobby Norris (pictured in a selfie outside Parliament today) sat in the Commons public gallery as MPs debated his online petition today, which accumulated more than 152,000 signatures

TOWIE star Bobby Norris (pictured in a selfie outside Parliament today) sat in the Commons public gallery as MPs debated his online petition today, which accumulated more than 152,000 signatures

Norris's campaign calls for online homophobia to be made a specific offence, as current legislation was passed before the internet 'as we know it today'. He is pictured in London on June 27

Norris, 32, is pictured with his TOWIE co-star Gemma Collins, 38

Norris's campaign calls for online homophobia to be made a specific offence, as current legislation was passed before the internet 'as we know it today'. He is pictured in London on June 27, left, and with his TOWIE co-star Gemma Collins in London, right 

Labour MP Angela Eagle, who spoke passionately about her sexuality in the Commons last week, urged ministers to take steps to tackle the 'growing threat' and 'increase in violence' against LGBT people both online and in the real world.

She said: 'The Government must urgently now update our laws in this area to make them fit for purpose.'

Eagle said the current laws governing online hate speech pre-date social media and are in need of urgent updating.

She added: 'This (social media) has fundamentally reshaped the way we communicate with each other in society.' 

Norris's petition soared past the 100,000 signature requirement for it to be debated in Parliament

Norris's petition soared past the 100,000 signature requirement for it to be debated in Parliament 

He also had the support of openly gay MPs Angela Eagle (pictured in the Commons today), Luke Pollard and Martin Docherty during the debate

He also had the support of openly gay MPs Angela Eagle (pictured in the Commons today), Luke Pollard and Martin Docherty during the debate

The MP, who introduced herself as the second ever to come out as a lesbian, listed recent homophobic attacks across England as evidence of increased intolerance towards LGBT people.

She added: 'In London, a couple of weeks ago, two gay women were beaten and robbed by five teenagers for refusing to kiss each other on demand.

'In Southampton, two women kissing in the street were injured by an object thrown at them from a passing car.

'In Liverpool, two men were stabbed and seriously hurt in a homophobic knife attack and one of those held for the attack was 12 years old.'

She added: 'In my view, the Government have not reacted firmly enough to prevent this happening.

'I think our values of respect for diversity in society are now being tested and we must not be found wanting in our defence of them.'

Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and

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