Theresa May Vows to Pass Upskirting Bill in Response to Public Outrage

Other | Wednesday 20th June 2018 | Zakk

The bill put forward to make it illegal to photograph or publish “upskirting” images was blocked last week by Conservative MP for Christchurch, Sir Christopher Chope. However, Theresa May will now attempt to push the legislation through as a government bill – as opposed to a private members bill – after mounting pressure from her party and the public.

Private members bills are proposed by MPs who are not ministers, generally meaning that the time for debating them is limited, and resulting in few actually being passed.

Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath, put forward the bill last week but was blocked after Chope shouted “object”, thereby forcing parliament to push the issue back until at least July 6th in order to set aside more time for debate.

Ironically, Chope’s attempt to block the bill raised public awareness around the issue, receiving a backlash from Tory peers and the general public alike.

Theresa May has announced that the bill will be debated on Thursday, after backing receiving from cabinet ministers, with “a second reading before the summer recess.” This means that the new bill could now be introduced before the end of this year.

May has described the act of upskirting as “a hideous invasion of privacy”, adding that on top of the proposed two-year sentence, “the most serious offenders will be added to the sex-offenders register.”

Chope has said that he supports the bill, but blocked it on the grounds that he opposes private members bills as they cannot be properly debated.

A petition on to remove Chope's knighthood is currently at 3,220 signatures. You can find the petition here.