if we want to #EndFGM, we need to #StopChope
On November 23rd 2018, Sir Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch in Dorset, blocked Lord Berkeley’s bill to add FGM to the Children Act. The Labour peer’s proposal would’ve seen a one line amendment to the Children Act, which would “considerably extend protection to young girls at greatest risk of genital mutilation.”
It’s still unclear why Chope chose to block the previous proposal for the amendment but if we look at his history it starts to pain a clearer picture. MPs usually spend their Fridays in their constituencies seeing constituents in need of their help.
Not Christopher Chope. He sits in Parliament and blocks important laws using arcane Parliamentary procedure.
Here is a sample of the things he has stopped;
He objected to a debate on the Hillsborough disaster because he wanted MPs to debate MP Pensions instead.
He objected to a Bill that would have made it harder to grant taxi licenses to people with safeguarding concerns.
He blocked a Bill to Pardon the late Alan Turing, who helped break the German ‘Engima’ code whilst working at Bletchley Park. Turing was convicted of being homosexual and was chemically castrated.
He objected to a Bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
He ‘talked out’ a Bill that would have placed restrictions on hospital parking charges for carers
He blocked a Bill that would have protected Britain’s 9 million tenants from so-called ‘Revenge Evictions’ by callous Landlords, despite it being backed by the Government.
He blocked a Bill to protect poor Countries from Vulture Funds – companies that buy up third world debt and sue for immediate repayment.
He blocked a Bill to enable Kew Gardens to raise around £40 million to pay for its vital science work.
He blocked the ‘Guardianship Bill’ that would have enabled families of missing people to manage their loved one’s affairs.
Chope was one of a small handful of MPs to vote (unsuccessfully) against the cross-party Climate Change Act
He blocked a Bill to make ‘upskirting’ a specific criminal offence.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Tweet how you feel about Christopher Chope with the hashtag #StopChope! Social media matters and while Chope deleted his Twitter we know he’s still checking!
WHAT CAN CHRISTCHURCH RESIDENTS DO?
You can lobby the local Conservative Association (see the address and contact details below) and encourage them to select someone new before the next election.
Local Members can choose a new candidate – someone who better reflects the views of local people.
If you feel strongly enough, you can even become a member of a local Party, and secure the right to vote for a new candidate.
If enough people write to the Party, they will listen, and act. Christchurch deserves an MP they can be proud of.