Lib Dem MPs could defy conference over health bill

Liberal Democrat Minister Andrew Stunell said the government's health bill was "fundamentally different from where we were this time last year" and should be passed.

He spoke ahead of the Liberal Democrat spring conference in Gateshead where a motion calls for the planned changes to the NHS to be scrapped.

Mr Stunell said important figures in the party, including Shirley Williams, would say this was the right bill to pass.

Asked if MPs would defy a conference that objects to the latest revisions, the minister said: "MPs and members of the House of Lords are not puppets, we are there to exercise our judgement and I think you'll find that is what we shall do."

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