NHS reforms survive Labour challenge but still face battle

Marion Dakers
HEALTH secretary Andrew Lansley won the support of backbenchers for changes to the NHS last night, with both Tory and some Liberal Democrat MPs helping to defeat a Labour challenge to the reforms by a majority of 53.

Lansley told parliament that the reforms of the health service were “not about me” but that the coalition’s plans for the NHS would “be sticking to our principles”.

However, the health secretary still faces a fight to convince the coalition’s junior partner of the benefits to redistributing the spending power within the NHS. Nick Clegg’s chief adviser Norman Lamb said yesterday that “substantial changes” to the government’s healthcare blueprint are now widely expected.

Lib Dem MP Andrew George released a statement calling for a complete rethink: “The Bill itself should be stopped rather than paused.”