Birmingham MP Lynne Jones has backed an attempt to change the law to ban parents from smacking their children.
The Selly Oak MP sponsored legislation for the “abolition of corporal punishment of children” which was presented to the Commons.
The measure was an amendment to the Children and Young Persons Bill, currently going through Parliament.
Dr Jones (Lab) was one of 34 MPs to sponsor the amendment, which would abolish existing rules permitting the use of force for punishing a child.
The amendment was designed to repeal laws protecting parents from prosecution for common assault - the least serious form of assault - if their actions amounted to “reasonable chastisement” of their child.
It would have given children the same protection as adults under the law, ensuring any use of force against them could result in prosecution.
Other MPs backing the amendment included Richard Taylor (Ind Wyre Forest) and Mark Fisher (Lab Stoke Central).
The Government is opposed to the change and rebel Labour MPs are angry that they have been refused a free vote on the issue unlike colleagues in other parties.
The move is being led by Kevin Barron, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons health select committee, who said the UK was out of step with other European countries.
He said: “We must act now to end the legal approval of hitting children. It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that the physical integrity and human dignity of every person is respected.
“The current law allowing so-called ‘reasonable punishment’ of children is unjust, unsafe and unclear, and must be abolished once and for all.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s spokesman said the Government was clear of the need to safeguard the interests of children but did not support an all-out ban on smacking.
That is in defiance of a call from the UK Children’s Commissioners who earlier this year called for a total ban and attacked the Government for ignoring the views of children and professionals in refusing to outlaw such “violence”.
And a highly-critical report from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child last week also demanded a change to the law to “prohibit as a matter of priority all corporal punishment in the family, including through the repeal of all legal defences.”
The bid to amend the Children and Young Persons Bill to include a ban is backed by the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance, a coalition of more than 400 professional and other organisations including the NSPCC, the British Association of Social Workers and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.