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Watch: Christopher Chope torpedoes end to sleaze affair

Watch: Christopher Chope torpedoes end to sleaze affair
The moment Christopher Chope yelled 'Object!' From ParliamentTV
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You'd have thought certain Tory grandees would be chastened after the past fortnight. But while most Conservatives on the green benches now admit the decision to try to overrule the standards committee's recommendations on Owen Paterson was a mistake, it seems that one diehard remains unbowed. Step forward Sir Christopher Chope, the veteran MP for Christchurch, and no stranger to political controversy.

Chope of course is a long-time member of the Tory awkward squad who specialises in filibustering parliamentary bills, most famously in 2018 when he blocked legislation that would have made upskirting an offence – an act which led to Commons staff placing a bunting of women's underwear outside his office entrance. Tonight he was back winning friends and influence after yelling 'Object!' to a government motion to belatedly approve the aforementioned committee's findings on Paterson.

The objection was marked by a stony look on the face of Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans and a despairing cry of 'Wow' from one masked member. It means the government has to reschedule the motion, probably with a debate too and thus prolonging the sleaze agony for MPs and the government. No wonder SNP MP Pete Wishart went ballistic in a point of order after Chope's kamikaze cry. 

Judging by his WhatsApp messages tonight, Mr S suspects there will be a few choice words for Chope in the Commons tearoom tomorrow.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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