CHRISTCHURCH MP Chris Chope believes he has been made a scapegoat over the controversy surrounding a bill that would have protected Third World countries from “vulture fund” operators.

Last week Mr Chope was named in a national newspaper as the Tory MP who shouted “object”, preventing the important anti-poverty bill from progressing any further in the House of Commons.

The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill was designed to stop operators buying up the debt of third world nations, then suing for immediate repayment.

But despite defending the reasons behind the controversial move, which has met with protests by outraged anti-poverty charities, Mr Chope was unable to confirm or deny whether he was the unknown voice.

He said: “Well really I can’t answer that question.

“The objection was to do with the bill not being given enough time to be heard and debated properly.

“There are concerns surrounding the details of this bill and these need to be debated properly.

“If the government want this bill then there is nothing to stop them giving more time to it and I would welcome that. The objection is not to the bill in principle.

“Any concerns that we do have could be addressed if we are given more time.

“I’ve got broad shoulders so I can cope with the criticism, but I do feel I have been made a scapegoat in this.”

Mr Chope also confirmed that he had not faced any backlash from the Conservative head office over the incident.

A Facebook group set up by a London woman, Ammie El-Atar Whaley, protesting over the defeated bill has attracted nearly 1,200 members in three days.