Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope blocks bill to make upskirting a crime

Glen Norman
June 17, 2018

Conservative lawmaker Christopher Chope was the only one to object to the bill, which was enough for it to be blocked.

The Government stated its support for making upskirting a specific criminal offence hours before - but the veteran MP scuppered it during its second reading.

Ms Martin's campaign won mass cross-party political support and widespread public support.

UK Justice Minister Lucy Frazer called the practice "a disgusting invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed".

Campaigner Gina Martin, who started an online campaign to outlaw upskirting previous year, said in a statement posted to Twitter that she was "extremely upset and disappointed" but remained positive.

The bill was expected to sail through the Commons on Friday, but parliamentary rules mean it only required one MP to shout "object" to block its progress.

"We're going to take the bill that was blocked, the legislation that was blocked, and we're going to put it through in government time", May said.

Moments after blocking the upskirting Bill, Sir Christopher also opposed Finn's Law, Government-backed plans to give police dogs and horses extra legal protections from attack, and also talked out attempts to reform mental health units.

"By condemning this form of abuse, we can send out the powerful message that upskirting is unacceptable and perpetrators of this crime will be held to account".

Ms Martin, a 26-year-old freelance writer living in London, said she spoke to Sir Christopher after the session to ask him about his decision.

However, the proposed Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped on Friday when the lone MP objected to it being given a second reading in parliament.

"Ryan (Whelan, her lawyer) and I have just spoken with Sir Christopher and he has agreed to meet with the two of us to discuss the Bill".

The PM said she was "disappointed" the bill had failed to progress.

"Labour have supported this campaign from the start, it's time for the Government to bring legislation and not rely on Private Members Bills, which their own MPs have undermined".

MP's from across the region have condemned a Tory grandee who blocked a move to make upskirting illegal. Stephen Smith talks about Ireland's most durable rugby star on The Architects of Business, JOE's new show in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, also available on iTunes and YouTube.

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