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MP Christopher Chope who blocked upskirting bill says he was scapegoated after objecting on point of principle

By Staff Reporter

The Conservative MP who sparked widespread outrage after single-handedly blocking a new law to criminalise upskirting has insisted he actually supports a ban.

Sir Christopher Chope said: "The suggestion that I am some sort of pervert is a complete travesty of the truth."

The 71-year-old member effectively killed the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill which would have made taking photos up women's skirts a criminal offence.

He faced cries of "shame" in parliament after calling "object" to the proposed legislation - preventing its progress. Commentators across the political spectrum expressed disgust at his actions. Fellow Tory and defence minister, Tobias Ellwood, called him "an embarrassment".

But, on Sunday, Sir Christopher told the Daily Echo he did back measures to make the practice illegal, calling it "vulgar, humiliating and unacceptable".

Rather, he claimed he blocked the bill on a point of principle - because he does not agree with legislation being brought before parliament on a Friday when there is insufficient time for it to fully debated. As long as nobody objects, certain bills brought on the last day of the week can be waved through without full discussion. They would still face Commons debate and scrutiny later.

Sir Christopher, MP for Christchurch in Dorset, said: "I feel a bit sore about being scapegoated over this… The Government has been hijacking time that is rightfully that of backbenchers.

"The Government is abusing parliamentary time for its own ends and, in a democracy, this is not acceptable.

"The Government cannot just bring in what it wants on the nod. We don't quite live in the Putin era yet."

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