LONDON -- A law that would make it a criminal offense in the U.K. to take "upskirting" photos was blocked Friday in Parliament despite receiving backing from the British government. The initiative was stopped by a single Conservative Party legislator who objected when the bill was put forward in the House of Commons.
Some lawmakers who supported the measure shouted "shame" after Christopher Chope singlehandedly thwarted the proposal. The government endorsed the legislation earlier Friday.
Upskirting involves taking a photo or video under someone's clothing without their consent. It has become more common in recent years with the adoption of smartphones.
British Justice Minister Lucy Frazer called the practice "a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed." She said making upskirting a specific offense would send a clear message that perpetrators will be punished.
The law would allow for prison sentences of up to two years in the most egregious cases. It is expected to be resubmitted in July.
Upskirting already is illegal in Scotland.