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25th Nov 2018

MP who blocked upskirting bill now opposes bid to protect girls from FGM

Christopher Chope, Conservative MP for Putney, has opposed a bid to protect girls from FGM, having previously blocked an upskirting bill

Reuben Pinder

Christopher Chope is at it again

The MP who blocked a bill to make upskirting – the act of taking photographs upwomen’s skirts – a crime, has how objected to a bill that would provide greater protection for girls at risk of suffering female genital mutilation.

The bill had been introduced to parliament by crossbencher Lord Berkeley, aiming to bolster the Children’s Act 1989.

The one line amendment, Lord Berkeley said, would “considerably extend protection to young girls at greatest risk of genital mutilation.”

The amendment was introduced to the house as a private members bill, but Chope objected, saying he objects to all private members bills as a matter of principle.

Needless to say, Chope’s decision to object didn’t go down well among his peers, nor with the public.

Once the allocated time for debate has concluded at 2.30pm on a Friday, it only requires one MP to object to a second hearing in parliament to block a bill’s progress, which is exactly what Chope did.

Ironically, this came on the same day that the United Kingdom made a £50 million donation towards stopping FGM in Africa.

Many of Chope’s Tory colleagues strongly oppose his stance on the issue.

Tory MP Paul Masterton said: “Do not underestimate just how furious many Tory MPs are about this. This kind of thing does far more damage to the public’s view of our party than endless debates about customs arrangements.”