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UK News

Archbishop Barry Morgan backs ban on smacking children in Wales

Dr Barry Morgan's outlined why he thinks there needs to be a change in the law despite Welsh Assembly Members voting against plans to make it illegal for parents to hit their offspring earlier this year.

The law, as it stands, gives adults the right to hit someone smaller than them - provided it is deemed "reasonable punishment".

However, there are growing calls for politicians in the Senedd to revisit the issue.

The Archbishop said he was lending his support to the Children's Commissioner for Wales, who is campaigning for a change in the law.

He said: "Just as it unacceptable to hit another adult, so it should be unacceptable to smack a child - more so, in fact, because a child is more vulnerable.

"That does not mean anything goes as far as bringing up children is concerned - but it does rule out physical punishment.

"We all have a responsibility for ending the legal and cultural acceptance of this most common form of violence against children."

Speaking during an Assembly debate in March, public services minister Leighton Andrews acknowledged there were "good arguments" for ending the defence of reasonable punishment.

However, he told AMs: "The government has been clear this bill is not the right place to address this issue and we remain strongly of that view".

An amendment to the Bill, which was tabled by a Labour AM, later lost by 36 votes to 16.

The Welsh Government has since ruled out any change to the law before next year's assembly elections.

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