Lone MP blocks UK law against up-skirting

Sir Christoper Chope.
Sir Christoper Chope. Photo credit: Getty

UK Conservative MPs have been left criticising one of their own after he blocked a Bill to make up-skirting a criminal offence on Friday night.

Sir Christopher Chope shouted "object" during the Bill's reading on Friday, stopping it in its tracks, the BBC reports.

British parliamentary processes on Friday after 2:30pm it only requires one MP to object for a Bill to be blocked.

The Bill would have made it a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years in prison, to take a photo under a victim's skirt.

Fellow Tory MP Nick Boles heavily criticised Sir Christopher for blocking what seemed a common-sense reform.

"In every party, there are one or two MPs whose knuckles drag along the ground," he said. "Today, unfortunately, a sensible reform to protect women was blocked by one of ours."

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed by the Bill's lack of progress and would ensure it passed with government support.

"I am disappointed the Bill didn't make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through Parliament - with government support - soon," she wrote.

Sir Christopher often blocks bills on a Friday afternoon, and on the same day objected to a Bill increasing punishments for attacking police dogs and horses.

He later told women's rights campaigner Gina Martin he objected to the up-skirting Bill on principal because it wasn't debated - and he also wasn't quite sure what up-skirting is.

"I said, 'Well, I can help you with that,'" Ms Martin told the BBC.

Ms Martin is largely responsible for the Bill's introduction after seeing police refused to investigate when she gave them evidence she had been up-skirted.

Sir Christopher was knighted in the most recent New Year Honours for political and public services.