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Parents could face FIVE YEARS in prison for hitting their child, at the suggestion of the Children’s Ombudsman

PARENTS could face up to five YEARS in prison if they hit their children at the suggestion of the Child Czar.

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, announced that she would “support” legislation against the beating of young people.

Parents could face up to five YEARS in prison if they hit their children at the child czar's suggestion (stock image)

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Parents could face up to five YEARS in prison if they hit their children at the child czar’s suggestion (stock image)Photo credit: Getty
Nadhim Zahawi resisted the move and called for discipline "leave to the parents"

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Nadhim Zahawi opposed the move, saying discipline should “be left to the parents.”Credit: PA

But Minister of Education Nadhim Zahawi opposed the move, claiming discipline should be “left to the parents”.

He admitted his wife “occasionally” gave their nine-year-old daughter a “light slap on the arm” when she was being naughty.

As it stands it is unlawful for a parent or carer to hit their child in England.

However, there is an “appropriate punishment” defense if the child suffers only “temporary or minor injury” – but it is for a court to decide whether that is the case.

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Wales and Scotland have abolished defense altogether, meaning hitting a child is tantamount to assault leading to actual assault.

If convicted, the parents could be jailed for five years.

Dame Rachel de Souza told Times Radio: “I abhor and oppose any form of violence against children.

“Since children are more vulnerable than adults, I think we need to make sure their rights are supported.”

But Mr Zahawi hit back, claiming the state should not “supervise people about how they raise their children”.

He told Times Radio: “Disciplining children is something I think should be left to parents.

“There is a very big difference between child abuse and we have really strong protections in place, but a slap on the arm of a child by a parent is a decision that should be made by parents, not the state.

“My very strong opinion is that we have to trust the parents in this regard.

“And parents being able to discipline their children is something they should be entitled to do, not the state.”

He told how his daughter got a slap on the arm from her mother.

“I have a young child, I have a nine-year-old child, and I don’t think I’ve ever hit her, but I think her mother has felt the need for a light slap on the arm on occasion when she’s being completely naughty and herself.” misbehaving.

Parents being able to discipline their children is something they should be entitled to do, not the state.

Minister of Education Nadhim

“But even if that happens, it has to be a very, very rare opportunity.

“And we certainly wouldn’t do that, as parents very often want to do that.

“It’s far better to sit down and communicate with your child and discuss behavior and discuss what positive behavior looks like.

“And so we decided to do this in the Zahawi household.”

With Education Minister Zahawi opposing the Adequate Criminal Defense Abolition Act, change is unlikely.

NSPCC Associate Head of Policy Joanna Barrett said: “Children are among the most vulnerable members of our society and deserve more, not less, protection from violence than adults do, so we welcome Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza’s support for legislative change today.

“We know from our recent poll that public attitudes towards corporal punishment are changing, which shows how Westminster is behind the curve on this issue.

“The NSPCC has long campaigned to do away with the outdated defense of ‘reasonable punishment’ and we are calling on the Government to follow Scotland, Wales, Jersey and over 60 other countries to ensure children have the same protections from assault to have.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18327204/parents-could-face-five-years-in-jail-smack-kids/ Parents could face FIVE YEARS in prison for hitting their child, at the suggestion of the Children’s Ombudsman

Bobby Allyn

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