PROTESTERS gathered outside Sir Christopher Chope’s surgery in Christchurch following the MP’s objection to the ‘upskirting’ bill last week.

Angered residents assembled outside Christchurch Library in the town centre yesterday evening just hours after the Government’s own attempt to change the law was introduced in Parliament.

Video from @lisanova

The bill will tackle a gap in the law concerning surreptitious photographs taken up women’s skirts without their knowledge or consent.

Sir Christopher was confronted by members of the protest group as he arrived for his constituency surgery following his actions in the House of Commons.

Protester Sara Armstrong said the veteran politician had told her that her actions were “silly”.

Bournemouth Echo:

“We are here to raise awareness and attempt to engage people in the issues around his voting record,” she said.

“We want to send a message to not just him, but to all politicians to say they can’t act like this.

“To object to a bill that was created to protect people is disgusting. I don’t think he understands that you just can’t use issues that affect people’s lives in this way.

“I think it is unacceptable we still have to debate for women to have their rights protected.

“As a mother of two teenagers I just can’t accept how Mr Chope has acted.”

Protesters gathered with placards and wore underwear over their trousers outside the library, before following Sir Christopher through Druitt Gardens after his surgery.

Bournemouth Echo:

The group included students Poppy Langdon and Bea Lewis.

“By blocking the bill hundreds of victims have not been able to get justice and now there will be even more people before this is introduced,” Poppy said.

Sir Christopher has been underfire since he blocked the Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons last Friday.

A backlash developed with several of Dorset’s Conservative MPs condemning the behaviour of their colleague.

However, speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo earlier this week, Sir Christopher said he supported moves to make the practice a crime. He added his objections were based on the way the Government had gone about trying to change the law with a Private Members’ Bill.

Yesterday the Government introduced its own new legalisation, which, if approved, will see the worst offenders placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “‘Upskirting’ is a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed. I am proud that the Government has introduced a bill in the Commons which will make this a criminal offence.”

Gina Martin, an ‘upskirting’ victim who has led the campaign for the new law to be introduced, said she was “over the moon” with the Government’s actions.

Justice minister Lucy Frazer said: “We will ensure this Bill becomes law as soon as possible to protect more victims and properly punish offenders.”