A controversial parenting book that advocates beating children as young as four months old must be banned from sale by Amazon, Tory MP Nadine Dorries has said.
The book in question, which the MP raised in Business Questions in the House of Commons on Thursday, isTo Train Up a Child: Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children by Michael and Debi Pearl.
It includes instructions like: "If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final."
Nadine Dorries, speaking in the House of Commons
The book, written by the Christian evangelist couple, has more than 80 negative reviews on Amazon, with just five positive.
In 2011, it was alleged that a copy of the book was found in the home of Larry and Carri Williams, from Washington State, who were convicted of manslaughter this year, after their 13-year-old daughter Hana, adopted from Ethiopia was found naked, frozen to death, outside their home. Hana was kept in a locked closet, starved for days, forbidden from using the bathroom and beaten daily with a plumbing tool.
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Dorries, who was asked to help lobby the issue by the parental bereavement charity Saying Goodbye, asked Leader of the House Andrew Lansley if he would "use his good office to apply pressure on an issue that has come to my attention in the last 24 hours.
"It is regarding a book which is for sale on Amazon called how to train up your child by Michael and Debi Pearl. It actually advocates the beating of children, under the age of 12 months, using a switch.
"And the book recommends that a switch be cut from a willow tree and be no longer than 12cm in length and 8cm in diameter. The book advocates the use of paddles, rulers and other means to beat children from four months onwards."
Dorries said she had written to express her horror about the book's sale to the Departments for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education, and the Prime Minister.
My office is now on the phone to Amazon. If still on sale in Monday I will raise at DoE questions and call for an urgent statement
— Nadine Dorries MP (@NadineDorriesMP) November 7, 2013
The MPs office are lobbying Amazon to remove the book from sale, though it has been available to purchase since 1994.
Lansley said he believed MPs would be "rather shocked by what she's described" and promised to raise the issue with DCMS and the Department for Education."
"I hope there will be a proper response from those who are responsible for Amazon's marketing of this," he added.
Amazon has courted controversy in recent months as the number of rape and abuse books on its e-shelves came to light. The ebooks, which the retailer agreed to remove, included titles like "Taking My Drunk Daughter" and "Taking My Stepdaughter's Virginity". They tended to be written by amateurs, under pseudonyms, and promoted on the retailers' sites on a profit-share basis.