Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:09 pm on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott Conservative, Sevenoaks 12:09 pm, 16th October 2020

With the leave of the House, I will make some final remarks. There have been some passionate and personal speeches today, and I am very grateful for the support from all parts of the House and from those on the Front Bench. A key thing that has emerged is the impact of social media—a pernicious impact in far too many cases.

My hon. Friend Claire Coutinho put it well when she said we have a generation who are the most anxious, the most depressed and with the lowest sense of self-worth. We must do all we can to support our young people. My Bill will deal with some of the symptoms of the problem, but not necessarily the cause. My hon. Friend Dr Evans is doing a good job on some of the problematic causes of this issue, and I hope his work is taken forward.

My hon. Friend Shaun Bailey said that this Bill should only be the start, and he is right. My hon. Friend David Johnston rightly pointed out that the dangers of unlicensed and unscrupulous providers apply to all ages, not just the young. It is absolutely correct that we need more consultation, as my hon. Friend Simon Baynes pointed out; more accountability, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bosworth pointed out; and minimum qualification levels, as my hon. Friend Jane Stevenson rightly highlighted. I am glad to hear that the Department will be taking registration and licensing forward.

As my hon. Friend Saqib Bhatti said, the Bill is not an attack on the industry. There are so many providers that are doing this well and are looking after the people they are treating, but we must stop the ones who are not. We must make sure that women—there are men involved as well, but 92% of these procedures are done on women—are protected, and that should be true for all ages.

My hon. Friend James Cartlidge rightly pointed out that we need to be careful about over-regulation, but equally, we must ensure that procedures are safe. We do not expect to go down to our local pharmacy and for the nail varnish to burn our fingers off. Equally, if someone is going to have an invasive procedure, the state should make sure that it is safe.

There was a specific question from my hon. Friend Anthony Mangnall about enforcement. Local authorities will be able to enforce in their local area, and businesses or providers will be subject to unlimited fines.

The purpose of my Bill is simple. No child needs cosmetic botox or fillers, and such treatments on the vulnerable must be banned. Too many young people’s lives have already been seriously impacted because of cosmetic procedures gone wrong. As my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton North East says, it makes no sense that it is illegal to tattoo a person under the age of 18, but it is not illegal for practitioners to provide these extremely high-risk services to vulnerable and insecure young people.

The Minister rightly set out the Government’s work on the regulation of cosmetic procedures to date, and I thank him deeply for his support. I also place on record my thanks to the Minister for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for her help and her work in this area. It has been remarkable and is correcting an oversight that has gone on for too long. We must stop the dangerous and unnecessary non-medical procedures that can ruin children’s lives, and I welcome the Minister’s support today in ensuring that we are now one step closer to achieving that. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time; to stand committed to a Public Bill Committee (Standing Order No. 63).