We were so close.
Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse has been fighting to make ‘upskirting’ (taking photographs up a woman’s skirt without their consent) a specific criminal offence.
This morning it looked likely that this vile practice would be outlawed after it received backing from the Ministry of Justice, Number 10 and numerous MPs across the house.
However, today in Parliament, the Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope used an antiquated piece of Commons procedure to block the Bill from proceeding, amid cries of “shame” from outraged MPs. His actions meant that the Bill could not even be debated.
I’m disappointed, and angry on behalf of all the women for whom this meant so much…but completely unsurprised this happened.
Arch-Brexiteer Chope has repeatedly been on the wrong side of history. He has voted for the minimum wage to be abolished, against same-sex marriage, and in favour of fox hunting. This is not the first private members bill he has blocked – in 2014 he blocked a Lib Dem Bill which would have banned revenge evictions by private landlords, and in 2015 he blocked a Bill to restrict hospital parking chargers imposed on carers.
The Upskirting Bill will come back to Parliament in June, but there would be nothing to prevent Chope or other out of touch Tory MPs from pulling the same stunt again.
We need to make sure this bill passes.
In order to do so we need to make everybody aware of what Chope did today, and show him exactly how the public feels about his shameful actions.
We could expose Chope’s actions to thousands more through social media ads. Can you donate to our campaign here: libdems.org.uk/upskirting-donate
Otherwise can you help us pile pressure onto out-of-touch MPs like Chope by signing our petition below?