Legislation will be introduced to ban the act of ‘upskirting’ and deem it an act of sexual harassment after Tory backbencher blocked the bill.
Upskirting is the act of taking sexually intrusive pictures, usually of a woman, from underneath a skirt.
Downing Street has stated that ministers will pass this legislation especially after Tory backbencher Sir Christopher Chope had blocked the bill which was put forward by Lib-Dem MP Wera Habhouse last week.
On Sunday prime minister Theresa May had promised that legislation for this issue will be recognised by the government and passed hence making it a punishable criminal offence that could cost up to 2 years in prison.
“Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed. I am disappointed the bill didn’t make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through parliament – with government support – soon”, tweeted May on Sunday.
The campaign for this issue was started by the freelance writer Gina Martin who had experienced ‘upskirting’ and could not ask for justice as this was not a registered criminal offence. Police officers could not prosecute the man who took the sexually intrusive images of her at a music festival in London last year.
Chope was criticised by ministers and other members of parliament for declining the Bill from passing and acts of protest have taken place towards him since then. It is said that people have hung knickers outside his constituency office.
Conservative MP Simon Clarke said that Chope had embarrassed himself whilst Tory backbenchers were enraged by this and said that he had damaged the reputation of the Conservatives.
May’s official spokesman said that legislation on upskirting was discussed and that the prime minister believes that it not only invades an individuals’ privacy but it also “… leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.”
During the second reading in the House of Commons, Chope had delayed the bill from passing by shouting “object” which means that a vote would need to take place along with a debate in order for the government to adopt it.