Tory MP berated for blocking law that would criminalise ‘upskirting’
‘Upskirting’ is a form of assault in which someone secretly takes a photo up a woman’s skirt. It is a horrible, disgusting violation, however, there is no law against it. A bill was introduced in Parliament to criminalise the practise with a two year sentence, but this bill was blocked by MP Sir Christopher Chope. Obviously the backlash has been severe…
Because the law was not introduced by the government, rather an individual MP, a quirk in parliamentary rules meant that a single MP could block a bill by shouting ‘object’ which Chope did last week. This has disappointed basically everyone, including the Prime Minister herself, who not long ago recommended Chope for his knighthood.
Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed. I am disappointed the Bill didn't make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through Parliament - with government support - soon.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) June 15, 2018
The moment in the Commons when a bill which would make 'upskirting' a criminal offence is halted by a Tory MP shouting "object".— BBC Parliament (@BBCParliament) June 15, 2018
Other MPs cry "shame". pic.twitter.com/DLpZSZrqWt
His parliamentary colleagues have also taken aim in a creative way.
Good to see some redecorating happening in my corridor over the weekend. Christopher Chope's door looking much better. pic.twitter.com/oPn27UCAN3— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) June 18, 2018
Chope has defended his actions, saying that he does not oppose the law at all, only the way the bill was introduced into parliament. He has even admitted that he didn’t even know what upskirting was when he blocked the bill. But this hasn’t proved much of a defence on his part – whilst it’s reassuring to know he isn’t actively in favour of upskirting, he still ruined an opportunity to get something done about it now rather than later, based on some arcane parliamentary rules that only he thought were worth defending.
What matters more are the victims of this horrible practise who have been let down.
The upskirting victim campaigning to change the law https://t.co/JsKenS4VZB— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 14, 2018
Fortunately, the government has committed to pushing the bill through as soon as possible in a way that cannot be blocked by a single MP and will go straight to a vote, so upskirting will become illegal as soon as parliament can get its act together on the matter, but in the meantime, people are still committing the horrible act with impunity – something that could have been halted now, but instead will have to wait.