Clegg facing party revolt over revised NHS reforms


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Indy Politics

Nick Clegg faces rebellion – both in Westminster and at the Liberal Democrat conference – over the Coalition's plans to overhaul the National Health Service.

The Deputy Prime Minister has helped to force a series of changes to the original proposals that would have handed the vast majority of the health service budget to family doctors. The changes were intended to counter fears that the reforms would lead to competition within the NHS.

But the moves have not been sufficient to satisfy all Liberal Democrat MPs, who meet on Monday to decide their attitude to the revised Health and Social Care Bill which returns to the Commons next week.

One, Andrew George, confirmed last night that he intended to vote against the measures. He told The Independent he feared the reforms would still lead to the "marketisation of health". Several other Liberal Democrats are considering joining him or abstaining in Wednesday's vote.

Mr Clegg also faces a revolt among Liberal Democrat peers. The party's former leader in the Lords, Baroness Williams of Crosby, an early critic of the proposals, is understood to retain deep reservations about the scheme.