Smacking never did me any harm says MP

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AS the debate heats up on whether it is ever right for parents to smack their little ones, Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning said it did him no harm.

This week the transport minister revealed he was physically disciplined as a child and has even slapped one of his own daughters across the legs.

Mr Penning spoke to the Gazette about the controversial issue in light of Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy saying that smacking is ‘necessary and right’ – a view that has also been backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“We cannot take away parental control,” said Mr Penning. “No one wants to see a child hurt but on the other hand it has to be a matter for the parent.

“There is a difference between a light smack and abuse and I think everyone knows where that line is.”

Before 2004, parents were allowed to use ‘reasonable chastisement’, but the introduction of the Children’s Act specified that mums and dads can smack their youngsters as long as it does not cause ‘reddening of the skin’.

Mr Penning, a father of two daughters, who are now grown up and aged 20 and 22, said: “I do think parents should have the right to punish their children. Their children need to know what is right and wrong.

“I was smacked when I was younger and did it do me any harm? No.”

>What do you think? Is it right to smack your children? Let us know by emailing thegazette@jpress.co.uk

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