Christopher Chope

Christopher Chope

Credentials

  • Educated at Marlborough College, followed by a law degree at St Andrews University. [1], [2]
  • Called to the bar at the Inner Temple, 1972. [3]

Background

Sir Christopher Chope is a trained barrister and has served as the Conservative MP for Christchurch in Dorset since 1997. He was the MP for Southampton between 1983 and 1992. [4], [5]

Christopher Chope is a libertarian on the right of the Conservative Party and a hardline Brexiteer, sitting on the House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the European Union. [6], [5]

Chope has repeatedly voted against measures to tackle climate change, including in 2008 when he was one of five MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act. [7]

Chope has been involved in campaign groups which reject the scientific consensus on climate change and oppose the UK’s emission reduction targets, including the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), claiming such measures have an adverse impact on the economy and lead to high energy prices. [8]

In October 2010, Chope attended an event called “Climate Fools’ Day” in Parliament, which commiserated the passing of the UK’s Climate Change Act two years before. It brought together a number of prominent British climate science deniers, including Christopher Booker, James Delingpole, Piers Corbyn, Sammy Wilson, John Redwood, Graham Stringer and David Davies. [8], [9]

One of 40 “true-blue bills” put forward by Chope and fellow Conservative MPs Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and David Nuttall in 2014 was to abolish the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. Peter Bone, who proposed – and later withdrew – the private member’s bill, wrote that it seemed to “serve no adequate purpose.” [10]

He also supported culling badgers, selling England’s forests and abolishing the minimum wage, and voted against legislation for human rights, equal pay, safeguarding wild animals in circuses and same-sex marriage. [11]

He served as shadow environment minister from 1997 to 1998, the shadow spokesperson for the environment, food and rural affairs between 2003 and 2005, and parliamentary under-secretary at the Department of Environment. [5]

Chope served as the chairman of the Thatcherite pressure group Conservative Way Forward and remains an honorary vice president of the group today. [12], [13]

Chope campaigned to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and is a member of the Eurosceptic pressure group, Leave Means Leave, along with fellow climate science deniers, Peter Lilley, John Redwood and Sammy Wilson. Chope voted against efforts to guarantee the right to remain of EU nationals already in the country before the Brexit vote. [14], [15]

Chope attracted condemnation from the public and his own party in June 2018, when he blocked a private member’s bill that would have made “upskirting” a criminal offence, claiming he was opposed to the parliamentary procedure rather than the bill itself. [16]

During the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal, Chope was revealed to have claimed £136,992 in parliamentary expenses that year, including £881 to repair a sofa. [17]

Stance on Climate Change

October 28, 2008

Chope argued that there is no point for the UK to decarbonise its economy because the country’s emissions amount to a small percentage of the world’s global emissions and that other countries will continue to emit greenhouse gases. [18]

“Even if we eliminated that 1.2 per cent. [of global emissions], would it make any difference to the world? I do not think that it would—indeed, the burdens on our economy would be even more enormous than they are already likely to be,” Chope declared in a House of Commons debate. [18]

Key Quotes

During a debate on the Climate Change Act, Chope told the House of Commons: [18]

The issue that we are discussing needs to be put into context. A paper that PricewaterhouseCoopers produced, entitled ‘The world in 2050,’ projects that the United Kingdom will produce only 1.2 per cent. of global emissions in 2050—without the increased targets in the Bill and without including emissions from shipping and aviation. We must take that into consideration. Even if we eliminated that 1.2 per cent., would it make any difference to the world? I do not think that it would—indeed, the burdens on our economy would be even more enormous than they are already likely to be, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) explained so well. [18]

When the history books are written in 2050, people will ask why only five people voted against Second Reading of a ludicrous measure.” [18]

The TaxPayers Alliance produced an important research note, which shows that, if we achieved an 80 per cent. reduction in emissions, UK gross domestic product in 2050 would have to be 3.8 per cent. lower than it was in 1990. We know of the public dismay and, indeed, even the Prime Minister’s concern, about the fact that we have now entered the first quarter of negative growth since 2007. What would 3.8 per cent. negative growth in 2050 compared with 1990 mean for the people of this country? It would be a disaster on a massive scale and unacceptable to the people. Not enough has been done to spell out the implications of the Bill. [18]

How do the Government propose to reduce emissions from aviation and shipping without damaging global trade? […] I am worried that an agenda for imposing volume reductions in aviation and shipping underlies the Bill and the amendments. Imposing such volume reductions would be damaging to global trade. We are a global trading nation and it would therefore be highly damaging to the United Kingdom plc. [18]

Key Deeds

November 2018

Chope attended an event organised by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in the House of Commons to mark the 10 year anniversary of the UK's Climate Change Act. Both the GWPF and Chope have repeatedly opposed the Act, claiming it “burdened consumers with extraordinary costs.” [19]

For the occasion, the GWPF launched a report which blames the Climate Change Act “and other anti-fossil-fuel policies” for worsening fuel poverty in the UK[20]

The report was entitled “The Climate Change Act at Ten: History’s Most Expensive Virtue Signal,” which argues Britain’s emissions reduction policies are responsible for the continuing existence of fuel poverty in the country. [19]

It claims that “rather than solving climate change, the only detectable effect of the Climate Change Act has been to sustain levels of energy poverty that politicians from all parties had promised to abolish.” The report was written by climate science denier Ruper Darwall

June 2018

Chope objected to a private member’s bill which would have made upskirting a criminal offence in England and Wales. He later said he supported the bill but had objected to the parliamentary procedure rather than the law itself. He added he was not “a dinosaur” and had been “scapegoated.” [16], [21]

May 2016

Chope was one of 15 MPs to sign a letter asking then secretary for energy and climate change Amber Rudd not to accept the Committee on Climate Change's recommendations regarding the UK’s fifth carbon budget. [22]

October 2014

In a statement, Chope along with the four other MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act in 2008, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie and Ann Widdecombe, called for the Act to be revoked. [23]

They wrote: “The UK accounts for less than two percent of global emissions. It is time to bring to an end the pointless damage being inflicted on British households, British industry and the British economy by the unilateral commitment to unnecessarily expensive energy, and to suspend the Climate Change Act’s unilateral targets until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured.” [23]

April 2014

Chope took part in a debate organised by the Bruges Group, a Eurosceptic think tank, with the title “How the EU’s Climate Alarmism is Costing You Money.” [24]

During the debate, he said we was part of a “small band in tune with public opinion on these [climate change policy] issues.” [24]

The government and climate scientists use words in a very careful way that is contrary to the truth,” he said. [24]

October 2010

Chope attended an event in Parliament which launched a campaign to overturn the Climate Change Act, along with prominent UK climate deniers Sammy Wilson, Christopher Booker, Piers Corbyn and Graham Stringer. [8], [25]

The event named “Climate Fool’s Day” was organised by the Carbon Sense Coalition, a loose affiliation of climate denial groups chaired by Viv Forbes, an Australian climate science denier. [26]

An invitation for the event on Piers Corbyn’s site Climate Realists called for “evidence-based science and policy - not the carbon con!,” adding: “The danger is not Climate Change but Climate Change Policy – for which there is no evidence in justification.” [27]

The Russian government funded television channel, Russia Today, covered the event. [28]

October 2008

Chope was one of five MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act, calling efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission reductions “a ludicrous measure.” [18]

Affiliations

Social Media

Christopher Chope does not appear to be active on social media.

Publications

Christopher Chope does not appear to have published anything in any major outlets.

Resources

  1. Nicola Slawson. “Who is Christopher Chope, The MP Who Derailed The Upskirting Bill?Huffington Post, June 15, 2018. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CIatm

  2. Gerri Peev. “Tory grandee calls Commons staff 'servants' as he demands cheaper meals for MPs,” Daily Mail, January 17, 2013. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Jplpv

  3. Christopher Chope,” politics.co.uk. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Icq75

  4. Benjamin Butterworth. “Sir Christopher Chope: how he voted on gay marriage, women’s rights and Brexit,” iNews, June 15, 2018. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0vmZu

  5. Sir Christopher Chope MP,” Parliament. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/sQETC

  6. Angus Walker. “Why Sir Christopher Chope objected to making upskirting a criminal offence,” ITV News, June 15, 2018. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/GE2jd

  7. How Christopher Chope voted on Environmental Issues,” They Work For You. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CzPmQ

  8. Leo Hickman. “Cabal of climate sceptics to descend on UK parliament,” The Guardian, October 26, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/bKE3s

  9. Anthony Watts. “Who are the Climate Fools? – Climate Fools Day Recap,” Watts Up With That? November 2, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/r3dKU

  10. Vicky Ellis. “Unlikely MPs’ Bill to ban DECC ditched,” Energy Live News, May 16, 2014. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7mgxA

  11. Christopher Chope voting record,” They Work For You. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CzPmQ

  12. Jon Craig. “Why MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to making upskirting a criminal offence,” Sky News, June 18, 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/dVC1Z

  13. Our team,” Conservative Way Forward. Archived January 18, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  14. Who we are,” Leave Means Leave. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/BG341

  15. Voting Record — Christopher Chope MP, Christchurch (10103),” The Public Whip. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/bshwX

  16. May 'disappointed' at upskirting law block,” BBC News, June 15, 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/1xO9r

  17. Kate Buck. “Who is Sir Christopher Chope, the man who shot down the upskirting bill?Metro, June 15, 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/ls6G9

  18. Daily Hansard – Debate, 28 Oct 2008 : Column 765,” Parliament. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Qrbj2

  19. Harry Wilkinson. “The Climate Change Act: Ten Years of Punishing the Poor,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 30, 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/o7Yib

  20. Rupert Darwall. “The Climate Change Act at Ten: History’s most expensive virtue signal,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/YHa0i

  21. Upskirting row: MP Sir Christopher Chope says he supports ban,” BBC News, June 17, 2018. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/G6pB8

  22. Letter from 15 MPs to Amber Rudd,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, May 12, 2016. Archived January 18, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  23. Ben Webster. “Scrap emission targets, climate change rebels demand,” The Times, October 29, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/65Eub

  24. Brendan Montague. “Rudd Must Vie With Climate Deniers for Osborne's Attention,” DeSmog, May 12, 2015.

  25. Louise Gray. “Climate sceptics launch campaign to overturn green targets,” The Telegraph, 27 October, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CAzWc

  26. Climate Fools Day Today,” The Carbon Sense Coalition, October 27, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Du6G7

  27. Climate Fools Day Schedule,” Climate Realists, October 24, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/qOVh4

  28. 'Carbon tax-hungry govt, media ignore true facts about climate',” Youtube video uploaded by user RT on October 27, 2010. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  29. Christopher Robert Chope,” Companies House. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/KaaCj

Other Resources

Image Credit: Chris MacAndrew/Parliament/Creative Commons/CC BY 3.0