Tory MP Blocks Bill Protecting Children From Female Genital Mutilation 

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The Tory MP who blocked a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence, has now halted a planned law making it easier to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM).

Conservative backbencher Christopher Chope shouted “object!” when the bill was presented to the Commons for its second reading.

Anti-FGM campaigner Nimco Ali said Chope was an embarrassment to his and humanity.

The Guardian reports: Under Commons procedure, a series of such bills are read out at the end of business without debate, and pass to the next stage only if no MP present verbally objects. If they do, the bill has to be presented again for second reading, in this case on 15 March.

The amendment, co-drafted by the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and crossbench peer Michael Berkeley, does not have government support, meaning it will struggle to find parliamentary time.

Chope has obstructed a series of bills in this way, including a bill to allow a women’s conference to be held in the Commons.

The Christchurch MP argues that even if he backs the intent of such bills he objects to them because he does not support the procedural principle of legislation being passed without debate at second reading.