Knickers have been hung outside the Commons office of Tory MP Christopher Chope after he blocked a bill prosecuting upskirting. Fellow Tory Nicky Morgan claims that opposition to Chope has united her party, so divided by Brexit.
Pictures of knickers hung up on what appears to be Chope’s Commons office are circulating on Twitter. Lace white and pink lingerie can be seen hanging off the MP’s door in protest to his blocking of the bill. It comes after another “knicker-bunting” protest by artist Lorna Rees was staged outside the MP’s constituency office in Christchurch, Dorset.
Spread across three black and white panties, Lorna’s message to her Conservative representative was: “No one should be able to photo my pants unless I want them to.”
Chope, 71, came under widespread criticism after he successfully delayed the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill brought forth in Parliament on Friday. The bill would protect women from perpetrators trying to carry out the sexually intrusive practice of looking up their skirt without consent and/or taking pictures. Under the law, those convicted could have faced up to two years in prison.
In a written article on the Conservative Home, Morgan claimed that while Brexit seemed the main reason for Britain’s ruling party split, now Chope’s rejection of the bill acts as a new focus.
“Until Friday, the split in the Conservative Party was mainly Brexit-related,” wrote the Tory MP for Loughborough.
“But by objecting to a Private Members Bill to outlaw upskirting, Christopher has managed to create a new fault line – by uniting the Party (and pretty well everyone else) against him, since Conservative MPs across the length and breadth of the land were appalled by his behaviour.”
Chope, who was hit with calls of “shame” in the House of Commons after he objected the bill, fended off criticism saying: “The suggestion that I am some sort of pervert is a complete travesty of the truth.”
Chope had defended himself, saying he had actually backed measures to make the “vulgar and unacceptable” practice illegal, and what he actually opposed is how it is being pushed through.
But Morgan argued his defense is not strong enough as she wrote: “It says it all, really, that an older male Tory MP should object to outlawing a sexual crime which makes use of 21st century technology.
“And cries of “but he objects to most PMBs as ways of making new laws won’t explain away this reputation-damaging episode.”
Issuing a stark warning to Prime Minister Theresa May’s withering government, Morgan said: “The Conservative Party doesn’t have a majority in the Commons.
“In 2022, we won’t be in the position of being able to afford to lose seats. We have to gain seats across the country, as well as hold on to our marginals.”
But she suggested there is still some hope for the Tories to win public support.
“The electorate might forgive us, Christopher – but only if we help keep them in work, create the conditions to allow wages to grow, stick to this weekend’s commitments to invest in the NHS and social care, continue to raise school standards and get the trains running again.”
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