Friday, November 15, 2019
The skye times mobile

Views will be discussed on proposals for an "anti-smacking" Bill.

Portree is set to host a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee as MSPs discuss proposals to stop parents relying on the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ if they physically punish their child.

MSPs will meet a range of groups on the island, before holding a formal meeting with representatives of different faiths and belief systems.

Witnesses expected to appear before the meeting in Portree are: James Gillies from the Christian Institute; Mairi Campbell-Jack from Quakers in Britain; Reverend Peter Nimmo from Church and Society Council, Church of Scotland, Minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church of Scotland, Inverness and Fraser Sutherland from Humanists in Scotland.  Representatives from the Evangelical Alliance and the Free Church Continuing are also expected to attend.

The Committee is currently scrutinising the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill, and the implications of how the law might work if passed. This stage in the Parliamentary process is an opportunity for MSPs to hear from stakeholders, to make recommendations about the Bill, and to come to a view as a Committee on whether or not to support the Bill becoming a law.

The formal Committee meeting, which is open to the public to attend, will be held between 4:00 – 6:00pm on Friday 15 March in the Fingal Centre/Arainn Fhinn, Portree.

The public are also welcome to a Question and Answer session in the centre from 3:15pm.

Earlier in the day, Members will also meet with schoolchildren from Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ (Portree Gaelic Primary School), Portree High School, young carers and parents’ groups on the island, to hear their views on the proposals.

Ahead of the visit, Committee Convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said: “The physical discipline of children is an emotive topic. Those we have heard from so far have held varied and often strong opinions.

“MSPs are very interested in the evidence we are receiving during this crucial phase of the legislative process. We will be taking points of view into account before we report back to the full Parliament on the next steps.”

Ms Maguire added: “We hope that as many people as possible can make it along to watch our meeting in the Fingal Centre, and that people on Skye take the opportunity to help with the Committee’s deliberations.”

To book a ticket for the Q&A and public meeting, call 0131 248 5200, freephone 0800 092 7600, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go online to

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