Wednesday, 16 May 2007

16 May 2007 - tvnz - MP quits over anti-smacking bill

MP quits over anti-smacking bill

May 16, 2007

United Future MP Gordon Copeland is set to quit United Future over the anti-smacking bill.

The decision leaves the government in a precarious situation. The recent defection of Taito Philip Field and now Copeland leaves the government in a true minority.

It is understood the MP is planning to start a new political party with a former one-term United Future MP Larry Baldock.

The catalyst for his departure is the anti-smacking bill, which will get its final reading on Wednesday. Both men vehemently oppose the amendment watering down the bill.

Copeland will stay on as an independent

Earlier this weka another United Future MP, Judy Turner, said she would oppose the anti-smacking bill when it had its final reading in parliament.

While she believes the compromise amendment reinforcing discretionary powers for police was a good move she is concerned it doesn't also apply to Child Youth and Family.

Turner says not enough has changed at CYF to reassure her parents are safe from prosecution for lightly smacking their children.

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