SMACKING children should be outlawed, according to an influential left-of-centre think-tank.
The report Loving smack or lawful assault was published by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
It argues that many parents resort to hitting their children because they have little idea hw to discipline youngsters. It says that smacking is not only ineffective but also helps children develop violent attitudes and behaviour.
Professor Christina Lyon, who wrote the report, urges the Government not to pander to public opinion, which supports parents' right to smack.