Smack ban a step closer in Scotland as Labour gives backing

Labour is to back proposed new laws which would see a smacking ban imposed in Scotland, the party has confirmed.

A ban on smacking in Scotland has moved a step closer.

The Bill is being brought forward by Green MSP John Finnie and would end the defence of “reasonable chastisement” which currently exists in Scots Law and effectively allows parents to smack youngsters.

Labour education spokesman Iain Gray said: “Labour MSPs have discussed John Finnie’s bill and do believe that the time has come to provide children with the same protection as adults.

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“During last year’s election we committed ourselves to supporting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and so this is the right thing to do.”

The move was last night welcomed by Mr Finnie who said there was “clear evidence” that the use of physical punishment is detrimental to children’s long term health and wellbeing.

He said: “I’m delighted that Scottish Labour has added its name to a growing list advocating for children to be given the same protection from assault as the rest of society.

“Giving children full protection against assault will send a clear message to all of us about how we treat each other and underpin Scotland’s efforts to reduce violence.”