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Lib Dem Backbenchers Plan Rebellion Against Reforms

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Lib Dem backbenchers are preparing to revolt in opposition to the government’s health and social care bill, demanding further changes be made.

Former Liberal Democrat Evan Harris and Lady Shirley Williams plan to stage a motion in Birmingham to draw attention to their views, after they gained more support than they expected in a vote this week. 16 out of 24 liberal democrat backbenchers voted against the changes, even after amendments made as an outcome of the listening exercise.

Lady Williams has shown concern that the amendments didn’t go far enough in ensuring that NHS services would remain free at the point of delivery.

The main rebel, Andrew george, St. Ives MP, “ I hadn’t anticipated a rebellion on this scale. Liberal Democrats were the architects of the NHS and do not want, by default, to become the architects of its demise.”

Former deputy chief medical officer for England added that he gave credit to Nick Clegg and Lib Dem health minister for pushing the changes that already been made to the health bill but insisted that, “further change is necessary before many Liberal Democrats can support it.”

Evan Harris continued, “The extent of unhappiness on the Lib Dem backbenches, including the party president, Tim Farron, and the deputy leader, Simon Hughes, is a real encouragement.”

He concluded that the backbench rebellion only seeked to amend the bill so that it fitted the initial coalition agreement, and not a Lib Dem agreement.

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