On 23 November, a private members’ bill was put forward in parliament that would seek to protect children from the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Conservative MP for Christchurch, Christopher Chope, objected to the bill, preventing it from progressing. In response, people on Twitter are wondering: who on earth voted for this man?
Christopher Chope, the Tory MP who controversially blocked the parliamentary bill to make upskirting a criminal offence, has blocked a bill to make it easier to prevent female genital mutilation of children. Who voted for this man & why? I simply despairhttps://t.co/CjI5dntqOF
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) November 24, 2018
To some, Chope’s actions may seem remarkable. After all, who would object to preventing FGM? However, Chope has a history of blocking progressive private members’ bills. He claims to block them out of objection to the practice, but he’s not blocked all of them and even introduced many himself. On 15 June, Chope famously blocked the bill that would make “upskirting” illegal.
He also vetoed a bill banning the use of circus animals and blocked a bill that offered legal protections to police animals. His reputation for blocking bills even caused MPs to delay a bill that would help families to reclaim property stolen by the Nazis.
In addition, Chope has consistently or generally voted against:
- Gay rights
- Smoking bans
- Hunting bans
- Human rights
- Measures to mitigate climate change
- Raising welfare benefits inline with pricing
- Providing additional benefits to those unable to work due to illness or disability
Furthermore, Chope has in the past voted in favour of tougher rules on immigration, the Iraq war, increased government surveillance measures. Meanwhile, he voted against “restricting the provision of services to private patients” by the NHS. More recently, he also attempted to scrap the Working Time Directive.
In response to his latest objection, people have taken to Twitter to encourage the constituents of Christchurch to reconsider who represents them:
Who could have predicted someone who did their best to ruin outlawing #FGM & #upskirting would have this kind of voting record? #Christchurch please do not return Christopher Chope MP next election. https://t.co/Mvb1KtXP6q
— Rosetintedtentacles (@Rosetintentacle) November 23, 2018
I hope that the people of #Christchurch make their views clear to their MP, Christopher Chope, that using arcane Parliamentary procedures to block bills on FGM and upskirting is not acceptable.
Westminster if the real Jurassic Park, where dinosaurs still roam the earth. https://t.co/SgHdJC6ArP
— Sophie Cook (@sophiecooktalks) November 24, 2018
Conservative Christopher Chope is at it again. He blocked a bill aimed at preventing Female Genital Mutilation. Theresa May gave this man a knighthood! Killing important legislation isn't democratic, voting this vile man out is. Step forward people of Christchurch… #EndFGM pic.twitter.com/OrLV7UF0vb
— StrongerStabler (@StrongerStabler) November 24, 2018
Our MP has blocked a bill to make it easier to prevent female genital mutilation of children.
What is wrong with this man??
GET HIM OUThttps://t.co/KRVs7PgpnH
— Christchurch Labour (@ChristchurchLab) November 24, 2018
Some went as far as to literally beg the people of Christchurch to vote out Chope:
Chris Chope, Tory MP for Christchurch represents all that is worst about Parliamentary democracy.
I plead with the people of Christchurch to stop electing him.
— Phil Dunn – Lib Dem 🇪🇺👍 (@PhilDunnLD) November 24, 2018
Even some Tory voters agree that Chope has to go:
Dear people of Christchurch,
Please vote this dickhead out at the next election. Christopher Chope is a disgrace to common decency. How can you, especially the ladies out there, want him to represent you in Parliament.
(Tory Voter) https://t.co/1lgv1sqHFp
— Angela Tamburrini🇬🇧🏴 (@angelauk1900) November 24, 2018
Tribalism laid bare
Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the South West. Despite his shameful voting record, the people of Christchurch elected him with a 49% majority. Chope’s continued presence as an MP is a clear indicator of the way in which safe seats can disenfranchise voters and protect MPs from political fallout.
It’s hard to imagine that the people of Christchurch are largely in favour of FGM. Hopefully, when they next have a chance to make their voice heard, they’ll take a stand and vote him out.
Featured image via Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia
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