New law to ban ‘upskirting’ blocked by one Tory MP

Christopher Chope MP. Picture: UK Parliament
Christopher Chope MP. Picture: UK Parliament
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A law that would make it a criminal offence in England and Wales to take “upskirting” photos was blocked today by one Conservative MP.

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

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Some lawmakers who supported the measure shouted “shame” after the Christchurch MP singlehandedly thwarted The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill when he stopped it being given a second reading in the Commons by shouting “object”.

Theresa May’s government endorsed the legislation earlier on Friday.

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Upskirting is already illegal in Scotland. It involves taking a photo or video under someone’s skirt or dress without their consent. It has become more common in recent years with the rise of smartphones.

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

She said making upskirting a specific offence would send a clear message that perpetrators will be punished.

The law would allow for prison sentences of up to two years in the most egregious cases. It is expected to be resubmitted in July.