.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Is Christopher Chope the real face of today's Tory Party?

There are many top Tories who are determined to modernise the Conservative Party in the hope of it beginning to look like modern Britain. Unfortunately, polls of Tory members consistently demonstrate how out-of-touch they are with the majority of people in this country.

As the New Statesman reports, for example, the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Party Members Project’s survey of Conservative Party activists in June last year found large majorities in favour of a no-deal Brexit and just 14 per cent supporting a second referendum in the event that Theresa May’s deal is voted down.

That result was widely out of line with the rest of the country at the time and I suspect that it is not the only issue in which the UK as a whole, and the Conservative Party specifically, differ on.

It should be no surprise therefore to read in today's Guardian that the Conservative MP, Christopher Chope, has once more outraged people by blocking socially important legislation. The paper says that having gained notoriety after he blocked a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence, Chope used the same parliamentary tactic to halt a planned law making it easier to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM).

The FGM proposal, called the Children Act 1989 (amendment – female genital mutilation) bill, is intended to improve the 2003 law that prohibited the practice by allowing family courts to make interim care orders about children deemed at risk, simplifying the process.

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. He 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.

As Commons officials read out a series of bills on Friday afternoon, Chope and fellow backbencher Peter Bone objected to a series of them, including another proposed by Goldsmith, to help the finances of Kew Gardens.

Interestingly, Chope did not object to two private members’ bills proposed by Bone, although other MPs did, so he is not even being consistent in his reasoning. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Chope is continuing to represent the dinosaur tendency in the Conservative Party, and that if they really do want to modernise then they need to start by jettisoning him and all those like him from the House of Commons.

Hell may freeze over before any of this happens, and as this is unlikely, then the Brexiteers who promoted us leaving the EU without a plan, can be content that their special place will remain warm and toasty for them.
A big test is going to come on 15th March when a ten-minute rule Bill attempting to exempt combat troops from human rights legislation is going to come up for second reading. It is no more tightly drafted than any of those he has objected to in the past.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?