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Finally, the UK government confirms plan to introduce upskirting ban

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Susan Devaney
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The government has confirmed it will introduce legislation to ban upskirting after it was blocked by Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope. 

Thanks to freelance writer Gina Martin’s great efforts, the government has confirmed it will make the act of taking sexually intrusive photos without consent a criminal sexual offence in England and Wales.

Only a few days ago, the bill was put forward by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse and blocked by one Tory MP: Sir Christopher Chope.

In the days that have followed, Theresa May has come under intense pressure from MPs to push the law through.

“Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed. I am disappointed the bill didn’t make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through parliament - with government support – soon,” May wrote on Twitter on Sunday 17 June.

Additionally, in protest, Sir Chope’s constituency office was adorned with a bunting in the form of knickers after the bill was rejected. 

However, the new legislation will make the act a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison.

In Scotland, the act is already a punishable offence.

Martin, who has led the campaign for the law to be introduced after police failed to prosecute a man who allegedly took pictures up her skirt at a music festival in London last summer, took to Twitter to share the great news. 

The prime minister’s official spokesman said on Monday 18 June: “The cabinet discussed upskirting, which the prime minister said is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.”

The PM’s spokesman added: “She was pleased to confirm that we will adopt this as a government bill. The aim is to secure second reading as soon as possible and before the summer recess”.

The PM took to Twitter to show her support: “I said at the weekend that the law should change to criminalise upskirting. I am delighted we are introducing a bill in Government time in the Commons to do just that this Thursday”.

And women have taken to Twitter to share the great news, too.

Finally, the battle has been won.

Images: Unsplash 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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