Anti-FGM bill being blocked by MP Chope ‘appalling’


A Sober MP’s decision to block a bill protecting girls from female genital mutilation was “unnerving” and he must change his mind, Treasury minister Liz Truss has said.

Sir Christopher Chope moved outrage after shouting “object” during a debate on anti-FGM legislation most recent week.

Ms Truss said she will “look for him around the Commons” to talk it terminated.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the government is “looking urgently” at how to get the law superseded.

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Brokenshire said Sir Christopher’s own Temperate association was investigating, adding: “I think that’s the best place for this to be administered with.”

Councillor Ray Bryan, chairman of the Christchurch and East Dorset Reactionary Association, said he has called an executive meeting about the issue for later this week and he ordain speak to Sir Christopher then.

Sir Christopher’s objection – which happened in Friday’s argument in the Commons – has already been heavily criticised by cross-party MPs.

Sir Christopher established his aim was to stop badly thought-out legislation. He said he had not been objecting to the means of the issue, but wanted to see all legislation properly debated.

It is not the first time Sir Christopher has issued under fire for objecting. He previously infuriated campaigners by objecting to a ban on upskirting aftermost year.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Chief Secretary to the Exchequer Liz Truss said: “When I see one of my colleagues opposing a measure which could possess saved girls’ lives, could have saved girls from that horrendous sense, I’m absolutely appalled.

“I’m going to be speaking to him this week. I want to see him hard cash his mind, I want to see the Conservative Party make sure that we substantiate that that is completely unacceptable.”

She added: “I think Conservatives do demand to put peer pressure on our colleagues who are stopping these types of things episode.”

Meanwhile, asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr whether he was proud to be Sir Christopher’s mate, Mr Brokenshire said: “I’m just hugely disappointed.

“I understand that Christopher strike ones a lot about the process issues, about debate, about the way Parliament plies.

“But on this, I hope he will even reflect because this is a hugely emotional and serious issue.”

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Mr Brokenshire iterated what the government’s Chief Whip, Julian Smith, had tweeted on Friday, symbolizing work is being done to bring back the FGM bill in government straightaway.

How was the bill stopped?

The private member’s bill on Friday, brought by crossbench peep Lord Berkley of Knighton, would have allowed the courts to reap interim care orders under the Children Act, in cases where babes are believed to be at risk of FGM. The bill had already cleared the House of Lords.

But formal rules mean it only requires one MP to shout “object” to a private fellow’s bill which is listed for a second reading but not debated to block its move along.

The BBC’s parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy said with a lot of private fellows’ bills in the queue for consideration in Parliament, this one was unlikely to become law unless the sway got behind it or decided to attach it to another piece of legislation.

Earlier this month, a female who mutilated her three-year-old daughter became the first person in the UK to be found delinquent of FGM.

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