Labour uses e-petition to win Commons debate on Health Bill

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Indy Lifestyle Online

MPs will get one last chance to derail the Health Bill after Labour used a e-petition calling for the reforms to be scrapped to secure a House of Commons debate.

It is scheduled for 13 March – just seven days before the bill is expected to reach the statue book – following an intervention by Labour's health spokesman, Andy Burnham. The move overturns an earlier decision the Backbench Business Committee to override the 170,000 signatories of the Drop the Bill e-petition. The Prime Minister's petition rules state that any motion that secures 100,000 names should be considered for a debate.

The Government made further concessions in the Lords yesterday, on what has become one of the most amended, pieces of legislation in history. Lord Howe agreed to introduce "checks and balances" to the private patient cap to ensure trusts do not increase private income at the expense of NHS patients. The concession comes ahead of a potential revolt on the Health Bill at the Lib Dem spring conference this weekend.