Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:51 am on 16th October 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rob Butler Rob Butler Conservative, Aylesbury 11:51 am, 16th October 2020

Protecting the next generation is a vital part of the work we do in this House, so I congratulate my hon. Friend Laura Trott on all her work to introduce the Bill. Much of what needs to be said has been said, so I will not be repetitious.

Despite being a Conservative who believes in the free market, I believe that this is an instance where it is absolutely right that, as parliamentarians, we—to coin a phrase—take back control from the commercial market and ban Botox and fillers for children for cosmetic purposes. One point that has not been made yet is that there is increasing evidence that brain development continues well into the 20s. That is much discussed in the field of criminal justice, and especially youth justice, and it is especially applicable to the part of the brain that is responsible for understanding the consequences of decisions. While young people may well firmly believe that they need or want Botox or a filler, they are unlikely to be doing so with complete knowledge and psychological maturity. Just because children are convinced of something, it does not necessarily mean that they are right, as I am sure many parents would agree—and I am not even a parent.

Much mention has been made of childhood memories—for the record, I fall into the ABBA camp. A vivid memory of my childhood is being afflicted by migraines from the age of five, and I still am now, so I am pleased that medical treatment with Botox will remain possible with the requisite strong safeguards and under the direction of a doctor.

I promised to be brief, and I will be. I am very pleased that my hon. Friend has brought the Bill to the House. I thank her for raising the profile of this dangerous practice and for doing such sterling work to protect children.