Fury of MPs as ‘dinosaur’ Chope blocks Government bid to outlaw sex perverts

Posted on Jun 16 2018 - 11:54pm by admin

Christchurch MP Sir Christopher faced cries of “shame!” as he pulled the plug on Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse’s private members’ bill as it received its second reading in the Commons.

The Government had said it supported the move to make upskirting a specific criminal offence with a two year jail sentence for offenders hours before it came to the Commons.

But because it was not debated in full, any MP could stop the reform from making progress by simply shouting “object”.

Tory MP Bob Neill branded his colleague’s actions “disappointing” and wrote to the Prime Minister asking the Government to make time to pass the new law.

A Government spokesman said efforts would continue to change the law.

A string of other Conservatives reacted with fury to their colleague’s action and vowed to join Ms Hobhouse’s campaign for a change in the law.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins, who is also minister for women, and Tory MP Will Quince were among those who said “shame” when the Bill was blocked.

Margot James, minister for digital and creative industries, tweeted: “The Government is determined that it becomes illegal to photograph people under their clothes without consent, Chope can delay, but not prevent, Wera Hobhouse’s bill from becoming law.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Dismayed and appalled that Conservative MP and former leader of Wandsworth Council Chris Chope has done this. The Government should act now and introduce primary legislation to tackle this abusive form of sexual harassment.”

Campaigner Gina Martin, 26, a victim of upskirting said: “I am obviously extremely upset and disappointed that Sir (Christopher) Chope decided to object on this vitally important bill for the women of England and Wales. I remain positive, though.”

Conservative MPs also made their feelings clear about Mr Chope on their Whatsapp messaging group. Richard Benyon wrote: “The problem is he thinks that it is a game and we don’t really mind.”

Alec Shelbrooke said: “Dinosaur. Pure and simple. Time to take his pension.”

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