The Tory who blocked the upskirting law is somehow even worse than you’d expect
On Friday 15 June, Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to a bill that would make upskirting illegal. His objection will delay the progress of the bill becoming law. But why did he do it?
Chope and other ‘libertarian’ Conservatives often object to private members’ bills on principle, as they regard them as:
politically correct, nanny state nonsense seeking to meddle in people’s lives and curb their personal freedom.
There are some claims that Chope didn’t even understand what upskirting is. But his voting record shows he frequently objects to laws that support women. And not just women.
Lowlights from Chope’s voting record shows that he:
- Consistently voted against equal gay rights.
- Consistently voted against the hunting ban.
- Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.
- Almost always voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability.
- Consistently voted against allowing marriage between two people of same sex.
- Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change.
- Consistently voted against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
- Consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities.
If you delve into the other things Chope has supported, things get even worse.
Chope’s time in politics has seen him:
- 1986-90: promoted to parliamentary under secretary by PM Margaret Thatcher. In that role, he steered through the disastrous poll tax legislation.
- 2009: attempted to introduce a minimum wage opt-out for employees. He claimed the right to work for less money was a “basic human right”.
- 2010: being involved in ‘Climate Fools’ Day’ – a gathering of climate change sceptics at the Palace of Westminster.
- 2013: getting in trouble for referring to House of Commons staff as “servants”.
- 2014: voting against the equal pay transparency bill. Since the law’s introduction, it’s been revealed that 78% of monitored companies pay men more than women.
Also in 2013, Chope was part of the ‘Alternative Queen’s Speech’. This proposed:
- Reinstatement of the death penalty.
- A face covering ban that would include burkas.
- The bank holiday in late August to be known as MARGARET THATCHER DAY.
- Diminishing sexual impropriety laws in the workplace.
- The reintroduction of national service for young people.
Despite all this, Chope was made a knight bachelor in the 2018 New Year honours list. And it was Theresa May who gave it to him – alongside several other influential backbenchers. At the time, there were accusations of “cronyism”.
Blocking the upskirting law has rightfully caused widespread disgust:
The bid to make upskirting a criminal offence has been blocked by Tory MP Christopher Chope in the Commons. "Cries of 'shame' could be heard," @PA reports. I bet they were https://t.co/8dJKHghEGz
— Claire Phipps (@Claire_Phipps) June 15, 2018
A bill to make upskirting an illegal offence was blocked by a Tory MP. Taking a picture/video up a woman’s skirt… without consent. It takes one objection to stop a bill getting a second reading. Why would anyone NOT want this criminalised? Christopher Chope best explain himself pic.twitter.com/osbKLv9UyX
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) June 15, 2018
Just about everybody:
"Yeah I'd be up for a law that prevents people from shoving a camera up my fucking skirt and taking a photograph of my junk"
"OVER MY DEAD FUCKING BODY" https://t.co/xQtcbp12JO
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) June 15, 2018
Disgusted to see that Tory MP Christopher Chope blocked the Upskirting Bill in Parliament today.
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.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) June 15, 2018
Chope also once filibustered a bill that would make revenge evictions a criminal offence. This is particularly troubling, as Chope is also a private landlord.
Reward and reprehensibility
Despite Chope’s opposition, it looks like violating women with upskirting photographs will eventually be illegal. Chope’s record does show two things though. Firstly, that the Conservative Party has some of the worst MPs this country has to offer. And secondly, that there’s no act so depraved it can stand between a politician and the honours list.
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Featured image via Chris McAndrew – Wikimedia / Williams, US Military – Wikimedia
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