A bill to make ‘upskirting’ a criminal offence was today blocked by Christopher Chope. The 71 year old MP for Christchurch shouted “object” at the private member’s bill.
The rules in parliament mean only one MP has to shout “object” to block a bill’s progress.
Lucy Frazer, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Justice had previously confirmed that the government would back a bill to make it a criminal offence.
Comment from Director of Communications, Henry Jones
To me at least, it seems ridiculous that upskirting hasn’t always been illegal. Upskirting involves taking an image of a sexual nature, without the individual’s consent. The fact that, in 2018, this isn’t illegal, seems astonishing.
Chope, a prominent Brexit activist and barrister, has previously voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. In 2007 claimed £136,992 in parliamentary expenses, including £881 to repair his sofa. He’s a believer that the national minimum wage should be abolished, in 2010 hosted a meeting in Westminster of climate change deniers, and came under fire in 2013 for referring to some staff in the House of Commons as ‘servants’.
He voted against the Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill that forced companies to declare their gender pay gap.
Most astonishing of all, he voted against the pardoning of Alan Turing, the mathematician who essentially helped the UK to victory in World War 2. Turing was homosexual, and after the war was prosecuted and had to undertake ‘chemical castration’. The treatment eventually led to his suicide.
I am unspeakably angry. If you feel the same, please email Christopher Chope firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him why he thinks men should be allowed to photograph women’s genitals without their consent.
— Rebecca Reid (@RebeccaCNReid) 15 June 2018
The fact that one MP is able to block a bill of this nature by simply shouting ‘object’ seems to be a perversion of democracy. This MP in particular has showed a distant lack of morality in the past. Whilst his objection is a delay, the government have powers to overule this. I would hope the Tories do so. Most importantly, Theresa May must condemn his actions, although given Tory politics in 2018, this seems unlikely.