SO the MP for Christchurch is yet again in the news. This time for his objection to legislation protecting children from female genital mutilation.

For me, several specific points arise:

1) initially, the justification for his objection was on the basis that he does not support the procedural principle of legislation being passed without debate at second reading. My initial thoughts were - what possible additional scrutiny is necessary in protecting children from female genital mutilation and allowing, if appropriate, courts to issue interim care orders if they think the child is at risk, as outlined in the Bill? The Bill had government & cross party support and had cleared the House of Lords.

2) following the furore of Sir Christopher's objection, he has now explained that he is concerned families would have to risk the emotional and financial burden of their children being put into care while police carry out an investigation. Well yes, FGM is a very serious issue so why should there not be a police investigation with input from social workers and other relevant

parties? Sometimes it may be necessary to put children into care and other times, not so. The courts will decide on the outcome, so why would that not be reasonable? I accept, I may be wrong but it seems to me these latest comments are trying to justify his position but, are already catered for by the Bill.

3) his objection to the Bill banning ‘up skirting’ was appalling but, his latest objection is far more serious. Interesting that Sir Christopher is again the one, who objects - no one else. Finally, Sir Christopher appears incapable of differentiating between those Bills/issues that require further debate and scrutiny and those that genuinely, do not. He is being called in the papers 'a Dinosaur', 'zealot', 'embarrassing' and far worse by MPs. For me and I suspect the vast majority of people, as the Bill cannot be presented again until the 15th March, we can but hope that no child will suffer due to this delay. It will be interesting to see whether Sir Christopher’s constituency association will also take some ‘appropriate' action.


Richmond Wood Road, Bournemouth