A GOVERNMENT minister and Dorset MP has slammed Conservative Party colleague Sir Christopher Chope as a "dinosaur" and an "embarrassment" after he derailed plans to criminalise upskirting.

There were cries of "shame!" as Sir Christopher dealt a blow to campaigners after announcing he objected to the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill which would make it illegal for offenders to take a picture under someone's clothing without their consent.

He also objected to Finn's Law which was intended to give police dogs and horses extra legal protection from attack. 

Prime Minister Thersea May has moved to soothe anger after the events in the Commons on Friday.

Mrs May pledged the Government would back moves to get the anti-upskirting legislation through Parliament.

Mrs May said: "Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.

"I am disappointed the Bill didn't make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through Parliament - with Government support - soon."

The Government stated its support for making upskirting a specific criminal offence hours before Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse's Private Members' Bill received its second reading.

It was the crucial backing campaigners - including upskirting victim Gina Martin, 26, and her legion of famous supporters - were hoping for after months of meetings with the Ministry of Justice to thrash out terms for suitable legislation.

But the Bill - which would have progressed to the amendment stage before returning to the Commons and the Lords and, later, receiving Royal Assent - was scuppered by veteran Christchurch MP Sir Christopher, despite the best efforts of Ms Hobhouse to get him on side from the backbenches earlier in the session.

Tobias Ellwood, who represents Bournemouth East, told the Daily Echo: "As an MP I'm horrified any member of the Conservative Party could do something like this. It is an embarrassment.

"I have got three friends who have already told me they are not going to vote Conservative if you have got people like this in the party.

"This kind of action has no place in a modern political party.

"Dinosaurs such as Chris Chope do not understand their duties and responsibilities in legislating on important matters like this."

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns added his dismay on Twitter.

He said: "Embarrassing behaviour by Chris Chope this afternoon. Not for the first time.

"I share a constituency boundary with him. But clearly not a century. Pleased Government will now work to bring legislation in after his wrecking of the Private Members Bill."

Sir Christopher's objection means the Bill will have to return for another Friday Private Members Bill session, on July 6, if it is to have any hope of becoming law this Parliamentary term.

Even then, it would only take one dissenting voice to again put a stop to its progress.

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare joined the growing number of Conservative politicians to criticise Sir Christopher.

Mr Hoare tweeted: "What’s appalling is Chope has a wife and daughter. I fear he’s totally out of step with our party and Parliament. Embarrassed to have him as a Dorset MP."

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins, also minister for women, and Tory MP Will Quince (Colchester) were among those who said "shame" when the Bill was blocked.

The Daily Echo has contacted Sir Christopher for comment.

The MP and barrister is one of a hardcore Tory group and has a history of objecting to legislation he feels is unnecessary to be added to the statute book.

He often calls for extensive scrutiny before any bill is passed.

Shortly before he blocked the upskirting bill, he delayed a final debate on the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill, or Seni's Law, which also had strong support from the government.

The Echo understands Sir Christopher objected on the grounds the measure had not been subject to a full debate.

Ms Martin's lawyer, Ryan Wheeler, said in a tweet that Sir Christopher objected to the bill because it had "not been debated".