NEWS
24/11/2018 09:31 GMT | Updated 26/11/2018 09:33 GMT

Christopher Chope Blocks FGM Bill By Shouting 'Object' In The House Of Commons

Yes, that's really a thing that can happen - and Chope has done this before.

Christopher Chope has drawn criticism for blocking a bill that would have aided the prevention of female genital mutilation (FGM) of children. 

On Friday, the 71-year-old MP shouted “object!” to the bill getting a second reading in the House of Commons. 

In Parliament the rules mean it only requires one MP to do this to block a bill’s progress once time for debate has concluded at 2.30pm on a Friday.

Labour MP Luke Pollard tweeted what had happened, writing: “In a shock to no one Christopher Chope MP has just shouted object to the female genital mutilation Bill getting a second reading.”

The bill had been tabled by Lord Berkeley, who is a crossbencher in the House of Lords. 

Berkeley was proposing to make a one-line amendment to the Children Act 1989, that would “considerably extend protection to young girls at greatest risk of genital mutilation”, reports i news

Stella Creasy is among the MPs and campaigners who have criticised Chope for blocking the bill:

Labour MP Jess Phillips retweeted a post which read: “Who voted for this man & why? I simply despair.” [sic] 

While he is yet to comment on why he did this, Chope has previously expressed disdain towards private member bills - despite the fact he has sponsored many in the past. 

Back in June, he derailed another private member’s bill, shouting “object!” to one that would have made upskirting a sexual offence

His decision to do this was widely criticised, with his Conservative colleagues taking to WhatsApp to vent their frustrations with one calling him a “total irrelevance and yesterday’s guy”.