The Christian Institute

News Release

New smacking laws will plunge parents into fear and confusion

Parents will be thrown into fear and confusion if plans to change the smacking law are approved by Parliament. Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Lester, proposes to change the ‘reasonable chastisement’ law which has protected children and parents for over 100 years.

Although Lord Lester says his proposal will only criminalise serious and abusive smacking, The Christian Institute believes it will lead to great confusion about the law and many parents will fear being accused of abuse. Moreover, Lord Lester’s planned law could be used by anti-smacking zealots to prosecute loving parents for trivial smacks. Loving parents could be at the whim of politically correct prosecutors and judges.

The Government has rejected the outright ban on smacking proposed by the NSPCC, but is prepared to give a free vote on Lord Lester’s amendment which in theory permits mild smacking. The House of Lords is to vote on both proposals later today.

The Christian Institute points to a poll conducted by the Office for National Statistics which found that 88% of people agree that it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child. Leading anti-smacking campaigner Penelope Leach in research published by the NSPCC found that 90% of children are smacked by their parents.