1. ITV Report

Welsh Assembly back introduction of smacking ban

Assembly Members voted to approve the smacking ban Credit: PA

Assembly Members have voted in favour of introducing a smacking ban in Wales. In the vote held in the Senedd, AMs voted to approve the law by 36 votes to 14.

The new Bill will remove the ''reasonable punishment'' defence from smacking laws. It is currently illegal for a parent or carer to smack their child, unless it amounts to 'reasonable punishment'.

Wales is now the second part of the UK, after Scotland to introduce the ban.

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said physical punishment ''has no place in Wales.''

Physical punishment has no place here in Wales ā€“ there is no such thing as a loving smack and no justifiable reason for a big person to hit a little person. Iā€™m delighted we have voted to change the law to help protect our children and future generations.

Independent research suggests attitudes to the physical punishment of children are changing ā€“ 81% of parents and guardians of young children in Wales disagreed that smacking a naughty child was necessary and 58% of adults in Wales believe it is already against the law to physically punish children.

I have longed campaigned for this change in the law and want to thank all those who have supported this legislation over the years.

The change in law will bring clarity for parents, professionals and children that physically punishing a child is not acceptable in Wales.

– Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

The Bill has been supported by a number of children's charities, including the NSPCC. They called the move a ''remarkable achievement that ''finally gives children in Wales the same legal protection from assault as adults.''

The new Bill is expected to come into force in 2022.