» Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Children’s Bill

Asked if the Prime Minister would be voting on the "smacking bill", the PMOS said that he wasn’t aware whether the Prime Minister would vote or not. The position was, as he had said yesterday afternoon, that there would be a free vote on the Lester amendment, but the Government would vote against proposals for a complete ban. The reason for that was that the Government believed that parents should be able to discipline their children, but obviously not cross into abuse. It was the prevention of that abuse which the Government had been concerned about, without taking away the right of parents to reasonably chastise their children, within limits. Those limits were contained within the Lester amendment.

Put to him that the Chief Whip had said that there was not a free vote, and in fact there would be a three-line-whip on the Bill, the PMOS reminded journalists that the Government had allowed a free vote in the House of Lords on the Lester amendment, but only the Lester amendment. The Government would be directing its MP’s to vote against a complete ban on all physical punishment.

Asked if he expected the Prime Minister to meet with Labour MP’s today, with regards to this issue, the PMOS said he didn’t. The Prime Minister had met MP’s last night though on this issue.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. Whats the point of all this – there are already laws to prevent abuse to children. Youd almost think that they had brought this back to debate as a distraction for something….

    Comment by tony — 2 Nov 2004 on 4:29 pm | Link

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