Conservative MP blocks standards reform reversal motion

Yesterday evening the government failed to endorse a Standards Committee report on rule breaches by former Conservative MP Owen Paterson, after backbench MP Christopher Chope objected to the motion.

The chair of the standards committee, Chris Bryant, has said MPs will debate the motion again for one hour today.

Christopher Chope was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Christchurch in 1997, being reelected in 2019 with a majority of 24,617.  He previously was the MP for Southampton Itchen between 1983 and 1992.

He has previously developed a particular reputation for filibustering Private Members Bills (talking them out) in the House of Commons, sometimes in controversial fashion.  In 2018 he came to public attention for talking out a proposed bill that planned to prohibit up-skirting.

In 2019 he objected to a bill proposing better protection for women and girls from female genital mutilation (FGM).

Many decades ago, Chope served in the Thatcher government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Transport (1986-90); and then in the Major government as Minister for Roads and Traffic (1990-92).