Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United Kingdom law to protect women from 'upskirting' blocked by solitary Conservative

United Kingdom law to protect women from 'upskirting' blocked by solitary Conservative

Ms Martin's campaign won mass cross-party political support and widespread public support.

LONDON-A law that would make it a criminal offence in the U.K.to take "upskirting" photos was blocked Friday in Parliament despite receiving backing from the British government.

The veteran politician, who was knighted this year, did not explain his reasoning publicly and was not immediately available to Reuters for comment.

Martin said she remained positive, though, and that she and her lawyer had organised a meeting with Chope to discuss the bill.

Hobhouse told Sky News that Chope's intervention was "petty".

Both were among a series of private members' bills being given their second reading in the Commons.

"I think it's very frustrating and annoying that one MP can block a consensus that had been built over several months", she said.

Dawn Butler, Labour's shadow minister for women and equalities, said it was "absolutely disgusting" that the bill had been blocked.

UK Justice Minister Lucy Frazer called the practice "a ugly invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed".

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"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".

"I'm positive and hopeful that he (Sir Christopher) will become a supporter".

Conservative MP Nick Boles tweeted: "In every party, there are one or two MPs whose knuckles drag along the ground".

Sir Christopher has come in for fierce criticism in the wake of scuppering the bill, with fellow Conservative MPs branding him a "dinosaur".

"The government has been hijacking time that is rightfully that of backbenchers", he said.

Under the new legislation, perpetrators would face up to two years in jail and the most serious offenders would be named on the sex offenders register, PA said.

Wera Hobhouse, the Lib Dem MP who introduced the Bill after lobbying Sir Christopher on the back benches in the moments before he delivered the crushing blow, said she was angry, frustrated and disappointed. "We knew this was a risk - but I now stand with powerful, passionate women and men behind me".

The initiative was stopped by Christopher Chope who objected when the bill was put forward in the House of Commons.

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