POLITICS
18/06/2018 12:52 BST

Upskirting Bill Will Be Adopted By Government After Tory MP Blocked First Attempt

Sir Christopher Chope's objection trigged a huge backlash.

PA Wire/PA Images

Downing Street has said the government will adopt a backbench attempt to crack down on upskirting, after a Tory MP singlehandedly blocked the move.

Sir Christopher Chope mortified many of his fellow Conservatives last week when he objected to the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill making its way through parliament.

On Monday morning knickers, thongs and a suspender belt were hung from his office door in Westminster by way of protest.

Nigel Nelson

Theresa May has called the act of taking a photograph underneath someone’s skirt “invasive” and “degrading”.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said today that the government would now turn Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse’s private members bill into a piece of government legislation and give it a second reading in the Commons before the summer break in July.

Chope has complained he was “scapegoated” in the row and opposed the “vulgar, humiliating and unacceptable” act of upskirting.

“The suggestion that I am some kind of pervert is a complete travesty of the truth,” he told the Daily Echo on Sunday.

Chope said his objection to the Bill was based on on a long-held principle that has seen him routinely oppose backbench private members bills. 

However his explanation did not cut it with many of his colleagues, as well as with opposition MPs.

Tory backbencher Anne-Marie Trevelyan said it was “painful” to see him object the legislation.

She told the BBC’s Daily Politics on Monday the term “upskirting” should be renamned “Choping”.

Without a specific law, victims in England and Wales must seek prosecution of upskirting through other legal avenues, such as outraging public decency or harassment.

A specific law already exists in Scotland and the blocked bill would have seen upskirting offenders face a maximum of two years in prison.