SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, has lent her support to the Member’s Bill of Green MSP, John Finnie, which will provide children equal protection from assault.

The Bill proposes to remove the current defence of ‘justifiable assault’ from Scots law, thus affording children the same protection from assault currently enjoyed by adults.

The Bill will not change the way that Police and Social Work deal with assault against children, but rather establishes the principle that assault can never be ‘justifiable’.

Earlier this week, Finnie lodged the final proposals for his Member’s Bill, which have since secured the support of over twenty MSPs from across Holyrood’s five parties.

The formal endorsement follows last week’s statement by the Scottish Government that it will work with Mr Finnie to help the bill become law.

As well as cross-party backing, the Bill has received overwhelming support from many individuals and organisations outwith Parliament, such as Children 1st, Barnardo’s Scotland, and the Children & Young People’s Commissioner.

Commenting, Ruth said:

“All of our children deserve equal protection from assault and I am pleased to support John Finnie’s Member’s Bill.

A substantial body of research shows that physical punishment does not work and can be damaging for children.

I am glad that the Scottish Government and Parliament will now take steps to ensure that this is reflected in our laws and look forward to playing my role in achieving this.”