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The offence will be punishable by up to two years in jail.
The NSPCC has been campaigning to close this loophole in the law for several years.
"The rise of online communication means that children are increasingly being exposed to sexual messages from adults, but in many cases the police have been powerless to act,” said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.
“The full force of the law can now be immediately brought to bear on anyone who grooms children for abuse online.” Under the Serious Crime Bill, it will also be illegal to possess any item that gives advice or guidance about abusing children sexually and revenge porn will also become a specific offence.
Sexual communication with a child online is to become a criminal offence under a new law to be announced today, which aims to clamp down on sexual predators.As it stands, paedophiles who engage with children online can get let off the hook if no pictures have been downloaded to their computers.