During much of last week, senior Lib Dems were frantically trying to finalise their agenda for next week’s conference. One of the major sticking points was a proposed motion on the health bill, brought by Richard Kemp, Lib Dem leader at the Local Government Assocation.
Such a motion caused a serious headache for the coalition at this year’s spring conference, when Lib Dem members voted against the health bill. On that occasion, the vote was a spur to the party leadership to push for significant changes to be made to the bill. But this time, with Nick Clegg having chalked up those amendments as a win for the Lib Dems, party elders are loath to revisit the issue once again.
The leadership thought it had found a workable compromise when it downgraded the motion, which would have to be voted on, to a Q&A session, with a general debate afterwards. Kemp appealed, but was defeated and so that Q&A session will be held on Tuesday. Read more