Fury over Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope's objection on Owen Paterson matter
CHRISTCHURCH MP Sir Christopher Chope has provoked fury among fellow Conservatives after he forced another debate on parliamentary sleaze.
Last night (Monday) Sir Christopher was the sole MP who shouted “object” in the Commons when a motion was put forward that would have accepted the standards committee’s findings on Owen Paterson.
There was huge controversy when the committee ruled Mr Paterson had breached lobbying rules and should be banned from the House of Commons for 30 days.
However, the government proposed setting up a new standards committee with an in-built Tory majority – which provoked outrage and an eventual government U-turn.
As a result Mr Paterson resigned his seat and the government said it would drop its plans; the motion would have accepted the standards committee findings and fulfilled the government’s promise.
Because of that, last night’s motion was expected to be accepted by members “on the nod” – meaning no-one was likely to object. However, Sir Christopher had other ideas.
The effect is that MPs will have to redebate the matter today in the Commons, risking further embarrassment for the government.
On Twitter Sir Christopher’s actions caused fury and bemusement among users and also opposition MPs – including Labour’s Chris Bryant and Wes Streeting.
Political commentators reported how fellow Tory MPs were furious with Sir Christopher.
Guardian political correspondent Aubrey Allegretti claimed one told him the Christchurch MP was a “Jurassic embarrassment” who had “crossed the line” with the objections.
It is not the first time Sir Christopher, who has been critical of motions going through parliament, has blocked the passages of bills by shouting.
He has previously stopped legislation on female genital mutilation and banning the use of wild animals for circus performances.