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Tory MP who tried to stop upskirting law blocks FGM child protection plan

Tory MP who tried to stop upskirting law blocks FGM child protection plan 1 Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith


A Conservative MP who tried to stop the law against upskirting has also blocked new proposals for child protection linked to female genital mutilation (FGM).

Sir Christopher Chope shouted “object” when the title of the Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill was read out in the Commons, just as he did last year for the voyeurism (offences) bill.

The FGM bill was sponsored by fellow Tory MP Zac Goldsmith who said Sir Chope had been “begged” by campaigners to let it through.

Goldsmith, the Richmond Park MP, took to Twitter before and after the motion to complain about his colleague’s “apalling” behaviour.

He said: “As anticipated, Chope objected to the FGM Bill. Just appalling.

“(In case anyone is tempted to believe he has a principled objection to Private Member’s Bills, please note that once again he did NOT object to those put forward by his friends.)”



Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith

The Bill seeks to allow courts to make interim care orders under the Children Act 1989 in cases relating to FGM.

Such an order could be made if a court was satisfied there were reasonable grounds for believing the child is suffering – or likely to suffer – significant harm.

A local authority would have shared parental responsibility for the child until a final hearing.

The Bill has previously cleared the House of Lords.

Sir Christopher is known for objecting in principle to bills getting rubber-stamped on Friday sessions, arguing they should be subject to detailed scrutiny.

His Value Added Tax Bill was earlier debated by MPs but objected to by the Government and Labour, and was later withdrawn.

Private members’ bills (PMBs) are considered on Friday sittings, which run until 2.30pm.

Any PMBs listed for second reading but not debated can be blocked if just one MP shouts “object” when the title is read out.

Tory and Labour MPs also blocked other bills after they were read out in the chamber.

Labour called for Sir Christopher to lose the Tory whip after his objection to the Bill.

Shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler said: “It’s unacceptable that this dinosaur of a Tory MP consistently gets away with blocking new laws to protect the safety and rights of women.

“This makes it even more shocking that he was given a knighthood by Theresa May last year.

“Christopher Chope is causing shame and embarrassment for the Tories but also for the country, and it’s time for the Tories to show they really care about these issues by stripping him of the whip.”


Source : Chroniclelive

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