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Christopher Chope: He seems to think he should have the right to treat women’s genitals in any way he chooses – without any interest in what their owner might want.

How do you solve a problem like Christopher Chope?

The Conservative MP for Christchurch says he blocks private members’ Bills in Parliament because he doesn’t approve of them – but his behaviour in stopping a Bill safeguarding women against female genital mutilation (FGM) was against the wishes of his own prime minister and government.

Here’s Mrs May, discussing FGM on Twitter on February 6:

He is therefore putting his own narrow-minded attitude before the wishes of his government, his party, Parliament and the nation as a whole. That isn’t principle – it’s egotism.

One has to ask whether he would object if he knew somebody who had been subjected to this form of permanent bodily mutilation himself – or if it was a kind of torture to which he himself might have been subjected if he was unlucky enough to have been born into a culture that supported such barbarity.

Considering his previous objection to a Bill that would have prevented upskirting – the practice of pointing cameras up women’s skirts in order to take images of their underwear or genitals – one is drawn to conclude that he has an unhealthy interest in preventing women from protecting their private parts.

This Writer first heard about FGM in high school, and the thought of it turned my stomach. I don’t understand how anybody could possibly object to a law that would allow courts to issue protection orders if a woman was at risk of being subjected to it. There is no medical justification for FGM and the procedure violates the human rights of women and girls, according to the World Health Organisation.

But Mr Chope (he was awarded a knighthood by Theresa May last year, but it was for no very good reason and his behaviour does not justify any acknowledgement of it) seems to think he knows better. He doesn’t; his attitude belongs in the Dark Ages.

Now, measures to prevent FGM will have to be included in a government Bill, meaning a delay in which more women and girls may be forced to undergo genital mutilation.

Will Mr Chope accept responsibility for their pain and humiliation? If not, perhaps any such victims should take out a private prosecution against him.

Public opinion is certainly not with him – although that won’t bother this pig-headed individual in the slightest:

He is, as one might expect from a Tory, perfectly happy to support his government’s wishes when it harms the many and helps the few, as his Parliamentary voting record shows:

So perhaps we should simply accept that he blocked the Bill against FGM because this principled man believes in the principle behind FGM: That those with power are entitled to do anything they like with those who have none – and do all we can to remove this dinosaur, and his prehensile principles, from Parliament at the earliest opportunity.


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