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Who is Christopher Chope, the Tory MP who blocked the upskirting law?

6:57 am, 16th June 2018

The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill has been prevented from being given a second reading in parliament as a result.

The Christchurch MP has a record of blocking private members’ bills and is on a crusade to challenge many of them.

Who is the man with a vendetta against these bills?

Mr Chope has been branded a “maverick” by Culture Minister Margot James, who accused the 71-year-old Tory of bringing the Conservatives into disrepute.

He is no stranger to controversy and has moved to block a number of bills that have significant public backing.

On Friday, as well as blocking a law that would see those who take photos up women’s skirts without their consent face up to two years in jail, Mr Chope delayed legislation intended to give police dogs and horses extra legal protections from attack, and talked out attempts to reform mental health units.

He has previously repeatedly blocked attempts to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

He also acted to block the posthumous pardon for Alan Turing, the man who cracked the Enigma code to help win the Second World War. In 1952, Turing was charged with homosexual offences and was later chemically castrated.

Of the 10 significant gay rights votes in the House of Commons since 1998, Mr Chope has voted against every bill to promote equal gay rights.

He voted twice against making same-sex marriage legal in the UK.

By making a lengthy speech, he managed to ‘talk-out’ a bill to make it illegal for landlords to evict tenants who complained about housing.

Using the same technique, Mr Chope ensured a bill to exempt carers from hospital car park charges was batted down.

His critics may take pleasure in knowing he regularly gets his own attempts to push through legislation rejected as well.

Mr Chope, first elected in 1983, is widely regarded as a candle holder for the Thatcher legacy.

A fervent Brexiteer, he served as the former environment and transport minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major in the 1980s and 1990s.

The former vice chairman of the Tory Party attracted criticism when he claimed £881.25 on expenses for the repair of a sofa.