Theresa May ends the week with a damaging rebellion – just not the one she expected. Sir Chritsopher Chope has set the cat among the pigeons after he shouted 'object!' to a private members' bill – brought to the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse – to make ‘upskirting‘ a sexual offence. Given that the government had given the bill its full support, Chope's decision to block is particularly unhelpful.
It's safe to say the Conservative MPs' behaviour has not gone down well on Tory MP WhatsApp. Chope's comrades are openly bitching about him – and asking if he is even on the thread:
Richard Benyon: Is anyone getting flak about Chris Chope objecting to Voyeurism bill? If you are on this Chris could you explain why the hell you want to do something that alienates so many people? An explanation would be really kind.
Paul Scully: He's not.
George Freeman: Can all of us – men and women – tell Chris how APPALLING the headline 'Tory MP blocks ban on upskirting' looks. And how damaging it is for colleagues in marginal seats.
Zac Goldsmith: He couldn't give a toss. Loves the attention, which is why he keeps doing it. He blocked bills to pardon Alan Turing, prevent 'revenge evictions', ban wild animals in circuses, restrict hospital parking charges and much more besides.
Steve Brine: Total irrelevance and yesterday's guy. Government actions will speak for itself. Will retweet Margot now.
Alas, he's not on the group. Hopefully, Chope can get the message via Mr S.