“Shame”, “Shame”, “Shame.”
An attempt in parliament to make upskirting a specific criminal offence was blocked by an MP yesterday, as shouts of “shame” rang out in the House of Commons.
The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped when Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to a second reading.
The private member’s bill, brought to the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, would have made taking a photo up a woman’s skirt a criminal offence.
However, rules in Parliament meant it only required one MP to shout “object” to block the bill’s progress.
"One MP can block this – it's shameful, it's annoying. It's not the end of the road, but I'm very angry."@Wera_Hobhouse, the MP who tabled a new law to make "upskirting" a specific criminal offence, reacts to it being blocked in parliament. pic.twitter.com/fn1rRC0euQ
— Sky News Politics (@SkyNewsPolitics) June 15, 2018
At present, victims in England and Wales have to seek prosecution via unspecific offences such as outraging public decency or harassment.
A UK government spokesman said:
“This behaviour is a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.
“It cannot be tolerated, so it is absolutely right that the Government supports this Bill to make ‘upskirting’ a specific offence.
“Whilst we are disappointed this Bill did not pass second reading today, we look forward to supporting these measures through the House at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Home Office minister Victoria Atkins, also minister for women, was one of those who said “shame” when the Bill was blocked.