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Sat, 28 March 2020

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MP who blocked upskirting ban has office strewn with women’s underwear

MP who blocked upskirting ban has office strewn with women’s underwear

Liz Bates

3 min read

A Tory backbencher who blocked legislation to ban upskirting has had the entrance to his office littered with women’s underwear.

Christopher Chope sparked fury after he put the brakes on a government-backed bid to make it illegal to take photos of people aimed up their skirts.

However, he has since insisted that he is not “some kind of pervert” but rather opposed the change on a point of principle, because he disagreed with ministers “abusing parliamentary time” by using Private Member’s Bills to bring in new laws.

In an article for his local paper, the Bournemouth Daily Echo, he said upskirting was  “vulgar, humiliating and unacceptable” and complained that he had been “scapegoated” for taking a principled stance.

But despite his protestations, the Christchurch MP was met with protests this morning, as knickers were strewn outside both his constituency and parliamentary offices.

Lorna Rees, who decorated his Dorset office tweeted: “I’ve made a small protest of knicker bunting outside my MP Christopher Chope’s constituency office… ‘no one should be able to photo my pants unless I want them to’.

It is not known who did the same outside his Westminster office.

The Conservative backbencher has received widespread criticism since he took the controversial position last Friday.

Today, shadow minister Louise Hague tweeted her support for Ms Rees, describing her as a “hero”.

But fellow Tory Peter Bone leapt to his beleaguered colleague’s defence, hailing him as “a great parliamentarian and public servant”.

The Government has committed to bringing forward the legislation on its own time, and hopes the bill will get its second reading before MPs break up for the summer.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said today that Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom championed the legislation at an emergency Cabinet meeting this morning. 

“She said the measure is one the Government supports and has received extensive support both within and outside of parliament so she was pleased to confirm we will adopt this as a government bill," the spokesman said.

“The aim is to secure the second reading as soon as possible and before the summer recess.”

Meanwhile, the Commons Procedure Committee is reportedly preparing to launch an investigation into the way some MPs block Private Member's Bills.

Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum

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