The House of Lords has agreed to appoint a new special inquiry committee to investigate the impact of digital technologies on democracy.

The Committee, which will be Chaired by Lord Puttnam, will look at how the growth in digital technology has changed the way politics functions and what this means for the future of plural, representative democracy, as political parties, campaigners and government increasingly focus on online and social media to communicate with the public.

Lord Puttnam said: “Digital technologies are changing every aspect of our lives, and they are clearly having a significant impact on democracy and the way in which we carry out politics in this country.

“We need to understand how best to respond to this challenge; whether we have the right models in place to regulate online political communications and the best means of ensuring the public develop faith in what they see and hear online.

“Representative democracy is vulnerable, and will only be preserved if we understand how precious it is, and treat it with the care and attention it deserves.

“We will shortly be publishing a call for evidence in which we’ll set out the kind of evidence we’ll be seeking.

“Our inquiry can only be as good as the quality of the evidence we receive, so I’d encourage anyone with an interest in our work to respond with views and suggestions on this increasingly vital issue.”

The members of the House of Lords who have been appointed to the Committee are: Lord Puttnam (Chair), Lord Knight of Weymouth, Lord Black of Brentwood, Lord Lipsey, Lord Dobbs, Lord Lucas, Lord German, Lord Mitchell, Lord Harris of Haringey, Baroness Morris of Yardley, Lord Holmes of Richmond, Lord Scriven, and Baroness Kidron.