1. ITV Report

Scotland set to ban parents smacking children in first for UK

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Smacking children is to be banned in Scotland, Holyrood has confirmed.

Parents will no longer be able to hit youngsters under a bill to be brought forward by a Green MSP.

Mothers and fathers will be breaking the law once the defence of "justifiable assault" is removed - the statute which currently permits physical punishment to admonish a child.

If the move goes through, Scotland would become the first part of the UK to introduce such a ban.

The Scottish government said it believed smacking had "negative effects" on minors.

Some 50 countries have already outlawed smacking. Credit: PA

A Holyrood spokesperson said: "We believe physical punishment can have negative effects on children which can last long after the physical pain has died away.

"We support positive parenting through, for example, funding for family support services."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed last month that her government would not oppose the Bill.

The smacking ban is already in place across some 50 countries - including France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Ireland.

Scottish Labour announced earlier this week it would also support the bill as "the right thing to do".