CHRISTCHURCH MP Sir Christopher Chope has been labelled as "old-fashioned" by his own constituents.

They said he "under-estimates the strength of feeling" after he blocked debate on plans to support the victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

But they said they don't believe it will make much difference to his popularity in the town.

Sir Christopher has been criticised for objecting to the government-backed bill being read out in the House of Commons.

But he insists he only did so because he opposes the government using private members' bills to advance legislation. He said he wants to ensure the subject is debated thoroughly.

Shoppers enjoying market day in the town had mixed views about their local MP.

George Barnes, 63, said: "I don't think many people around here take much notice of the criticism he gets. Everyone is just used to Chris Chope being the local MP and most people in this town are Conservative."

Laura Pearce, 36, added: "He is really old-fashioned and I am not convinced he understands the strength of feeling around the subject of FGM.

"I think he genuinely believes he is doing the right thing but there is no place for someone like him in parliament in this day and age."

A 22-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, said: "He is an absolute disgrace but I can't have my name in the paper because my nan and grandad would be furious because they think he's great. I think they'd support him no matter what he said or did."

Bill Cooper, 78, from Bournemouth, said: "Our MPs in Bournemouth are more up to date. They would never say or do anything like this because they know better and they know exactly what sort of reaction they'd get.

"I think Chope believes he's got a point but he under-estimated the reaction to it."

The private members' bill, which would allow courts to issue protection orders over children thought to be at risk of FGM, was tabled by Tory MP Zac Goldsmith who has described Sir Christopher's actions as "just appalling."