Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

We will block reforms without concessions - Clegg

  • Comment

Liberal Democrats will block the government’s NHS reforms unless they secure significant concessions, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said.

His threat came as Mr Clegg said he was determined to give the Liberal Democrats a “louder voice” in the coalition in response to their drubbing in the polls last week.

The Lib Dem leader made clear his first battle will be over health secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans to hand NHS commissioning power to GPs and increase the scope for private provision within the health service.

Unless there are “substantial, significant changes” to Mr Lansley’s proposals, he said he will tell Liberal Democrat MPs and peers to vote them down.

“I am not going to ask Liberal Democrat MPs and peers to proceed with legislation on something as precious and cherished - particularly for Liberal Democrats - as the NHS unless I personally am satisfied that what these changes do is an evolutionary change in the NHS and not a disruptive revolution,” said Mr Clegg.

Conservative ministers sought to smooth over rifts within the coalition following a referendum campaign which saw exchanges of insults and accusations between Cabinet colleagues.

“There’s a lot of heat in an election campaign in any democracy. Of course things are said, but we’ve had the result and now we move on,” chancellor George Osborne told Marr.

Mr Osborne insisted that he and Mr Cameron also wanted changes in the NHS Bill.

“We want to reassure people we’re not - and never have wanted to - privatising the NHS. We believe in the NHS as a public service free at the point of use,” said the chancellor.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.