The bill to ban parents smacking their kids will go through second reading this evening fairly comfortably, but the real battle will be at the committee of the whole stage when amendments are considered.
The amendment by Chester Borrows is to redefine limit reasonable force as a defence if “it causes or contributes materially to harm that is more than transitory and trifling”.
The Borrows amendment sets the bar about as low as you can set it, without having any bar at all. I’m amazed so many MPs are set to vote to specifically include parental discipline which is trifling and transitory as a criminal offence. Every MP who votes against the Borrows amendment is voting in favour of criminalising smacking.
The current law is not satisfactory. Bradford’s bill, as it stands, is equally unsatisfactory. The Borrows amendment is a sensible compromise which is a win-win for parents and children.