Sir Christopher Robert Chope OBE who is a British barrister and MP for Christchurch has for the second time in recent months vetoed a private members bill that is seeking establish child protection proposals linked to female genital mutilation in the House of Commons. Last time I wrote about it here and pointed out that he had previously used the same procedure to veto at least one other private members bill relating to upskirting. In each case Chope shouted the word “object” when the bill was read out and that brings the prospect of the private members bill to an end, based on one MPs call out. Following his action today he has claimed he would not be “intimidated” by the condemnation from many members in the House of Commons including some Government Ministers who understandably are very angry at this appalling behaviour happening yet again in a setting which is crucial to improving the lives of people. It is clear that his actions demand that the Government must make some changes to our democratic procedures to avoid any further such actions:
Option 1 – that the right to recall for MPs is introduced to only needing one local constituent to sign up to a recall request for a by-election to take place.
Option 2 – that just as 10% of constituents would need to sign a petition to call for a right to recall, so 10% of MPs in a given debate need to shout the word “object” before their cries are taken seriously.
Option 3 – that the procedure regarding “object” is removed altogether.
Option 4 – that any MP who uses the “object” veto is prevented from doing so a second time in any Parliamentary period (ie between General Elections).
Let us hope that in due course the Tory Party will determine which of these options is adopted or that they will come up with a fifth idea to end this form of democratic corruption.