Wera Hobhouse wins Government support to make upskirting a specific sexual offence

Good news from Westminster – Wera Hobhouse’s Bill to make upskirting a specific sexual offence could closer to becoming law today when it receives its second reading in the Commons. Wera has won Government support for the measure but it requires to get through today without objection before it can proceed.

Wera has been working with campaigner Gina Martin and her lawyer Ryan Whelan on the details of law reform with the Ministry of Justice.

Wera today said she was “delighted” as the Government agreed to support her legislation to close any potential loopholes, in order to better protect victims and increase convictions:

I got involved in politics to change things that my constituents and I care about. I am incredibly grateful to Gina Martin for starting this campaign, and for giving me the opportunity – in my first year in parliament – to do exactly that.

The fact that the Government has listened to our calls is testament to the widespread consensus that there was a gap in the law that needed to be addressed. By working with Gina and ministers on the detail of my Bill, we have demonstrated that when we work together successfully we can make a difference on issues that really matter to people.

We all made the case for common sense. Now if someone is to fall victim to upskirting, the law will recognise them as the victim, and the police will be able to act immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Gina Martin explained how she built her successful campaign:

Almost a year ago, I started my campaign to make upskirting a sexual offence after I was targeted. I’ve been on an extraordinary journey since then. The inner workings of politics were a mystery to me, so I brought in my lawyer Ryan Whelan to help me create an argument that was legally sound and politically astute.

And now, the result of all that hard work is that women and girls who needed this law changed are being heard by those in power. This has been a colossal undertaking for me personally and professionally, and I absolutely couldn’t have done it without Ryan and the incredible public behind me.

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  • Well done Wera!

  • very well done indeed

  • Yeovil Yokel 15th Jun '18 - 2:22pm

    I’m delighted that Wera has taken this on, supported by Vince, Jo, Layla, & Christine as well as MPs from other parties. But I’m curious as to how Wera became involved – did Gina Martin approach Vera because she’s a constituent, or did Gina’s own MP decline to support her?

  • Great work – but the celebrations are overdue. This has just been blocked by a single Tory MP who objected to the 2nd reading. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  • Steve Griffiths 15th Jun '18 - 3:37pm

    Sadly the BBC has just reported that senior Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope shouted “object” and substantially delayed the bill.

  • and the bill was shot down by Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope; he also stopped a bill to make it an offence to attack service animals, including police dogs and horses. I think congratulations where a little premature.

  • nvelope2003 15th Jun '18 - 5:21pm

    John McHugo: Unlike Radio 4 which did not mention the Lib Dems in their early morning report of the election result.

  • People ask why don’t you like or trust Tories?Exhbit A – A Tory backwoodsman (and they are far from rare).

  • I am furious that a loan wolf MP would block today’s legislation, just out of principle, because he does not approve of Private members bills, He did not even know what he was objecting to, it’s a disgraceful way for a parliamentarian to behave and i hope he is dragged across the coals for it.

    On to my next point..
    This is not an issue that just effects women, many men have been secretly violated by people with mobile phones who take images of their “packages” for their own perverse gratification, many of these images end up on websites without the victim even being aware. Mens Urinals, Airports, Train Stations etc. are the usual place where these creeps are taking pics and vids without you even being aware and then sharing them on websites.
    Men in tracksuit bottoms who might be well endowed are the usual victims of secret filming. which then ends up all over sites like tumblr. It is disgusting that some individuals think it is ok to violate others people’s privacy in this way.

    The law needs to get much tougher

  • Matt (bristol) 16th Jun '18 - 12:10am

    Matt, he has himself sponsored well over 40 private member’s bills of his own. The ones he doesn’t like are other people’s.

    It is the ‘might is right’ attitude of so many in our political culture, buttressed by our ‘winner takes all’ system, that is so corrosive.

    I’m hoping, that if some of Mr Chope’s more enlightened colleagues on the constitutional democratic wing (Grieve etc) start to feel the pain of being on the wrong side of power, we might see some centre-right proposals for electoral reform.

    Reform of our system shouldn’t be a left-right issue. It’s a sanity thing.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 16th Jun '18 - 1:09pm

    Chope was knighted this year. He claimed eight hundred pounds in the past for repair of a sofa.

    There is much to be said for knighthoods and such like honours. When a man such as he is given one and some of the finest are ignored, we have, as with much in the public sector as much as private, a culture of odious hypocrisy and utter mediocrity.

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