An MP has been sent a petition totalling tens of thousands of signatures just a few days into his new role.

Hertsmere's Oliver Dowden was promoted to the role of Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.

Mr Dowden has been thrown straight into the spotlight after a petition was created in light of the death of television presenter Caroline Flack.

Flack, 40, was pronounced dead at her home in north London on Saturday.

Since her death, a petition with more than 200,000 signatures has been created by Joshua Anthony, and calls for changes in the way the media reports on public figures.

The petition has been sent to Mr Dowden due to his new government role.

Watford Observer:

Oliver Dowden MP

Extracts from an email sent to Hertsmere's MP and printed on the website by Mr Anthony say: "The sheer volume of articles into her (Flack's) private life was bordering harassment. As a senior politician, you will have first-hand knowledge of the scrutiny the media place upon those in the public eye.

"However, the maltreatment of Caroline Flack, Harry and Mrs Markle, to name just a few, is not acceptable.

"As you are aware, if an alleged crime has occurred then it’s the responsibility of the police and judicial system to investigate and charge.

"The lines have somewhat been blurred with the tabloid press as they continue to speculate and lead their own trial in the court of public opinion.

"It seems grossly unfair that someone can be vilified and harassed by the press even prior to any form of conviction."

He ends his email with: "It would be great if we could perhaps meet in parliament to discuss this further as change needs to happen. I’m not going to settle for anything less."

The petition for the attention of Mr Dowden has reached the required number of signatures needed for it to be discussed in Parliament. Mr Anthony has since merged his petition with one created by former Hollyoaks actress and Celebrity Big Brother star Stephanie Davis, 26.

Davis calls for new and stricter laws around safeguarding celebrities and people in the public eye. She has called her petition 'Caroline's Law'.