Conservative politician blocks UK attempt to stop female genital mutilation of young girls

Conservative politician Christopher Chope first made headlines when he prevented a bill that hoped to make upskirting a criminal offence. He is now making headlines again for another controversial intervention.

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Conservative politician blocks UK attempt to stop
 female genital mutilation of young girls
 - NewsMavens
Christopher Chope, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

On Friday, a bill was presented to the House of Commons that would have provided courts with the ability to issue temporary orders to protect girls believed to be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Chope blocked the bill from further progression, causing backlash from both the opposition and his own party.

Labour MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler expressed her outrage saying:

 “It’s unacceptable that this dinosaur of a Tory MP consistently gets away with blocking new laws to protect the safety and rights of women."

Chope has since insisted he is not opposing the premise of the legislation, however he believes it is yet to be properly debated and is therefore poorly considered. 

Details from the story:

  • Conservative politician Christopher Chope blocked a bill on Friday that would allow for early intervention of the courts in cases where Female Genital Mutilation is suspected. 
  • Chope’s actions were no surprise according to a text message exchange between Chope and anti-FGM activist Nimco Ali was released to the Huffington Post last Friday.
  • The bill will need to be re-presented in March. 
  • Chope previously stalled a bill designed to make upskirting illegal. A version of the bill was finally passed in January 2019. 
  • Various conservative colleagues expressed disappointment in Chope’s actions.
  • Chope vocalized his objection when the second reading of the bill was presented to the House of Commons.
  • Bill sponsor Zac Goldsmith called the objection “appalling”.
  • Despite Chope’s objections anti-FGM advocate Nimco Ali still holds hope that protection for young girls will be written into law in the future. 

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