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Suspension of parental responsibility for people convicted of serious offences to be debated by MPs

2 November 2022

On Monday 7th September, MPs will debate a petition relating to the automatic suspension of parental responsibility for people convicted of serious offences.

Mark Tami MP has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the government will send a minister to respond.  

The suspension of parental responsibility for people convicted of serious offences 

The petition, which has more than 130,000 signatures, states: “It is acknowledged that there is scope to restrict parental responsibility from a parent through existing legislation, however, this can often be time consuming and for some expensive. The automatic removal of PR will save those, who now care for the surviving children, the added burden of attending numerous court cases to restrict the person holding PR, who would often use these cases as an opportunity to aggravate the process and in so doing cause further distress to the family.” 

In its response to the petition, provided on 16 June 2022, the Government said: “The court can limit the exercise of parental responsibility, if in the best interests of the child. In the most serious cases this can effectively amount to removing all parental powers and authority.” 

What are petitions debates? 

Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers. 

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means MPs will not vote to decide on the automatic suspension of parental responsibility for those convicted of serious offences at the end of the debate. 

Further information

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