The 170,000-signature petition against the Health Bill will be debated in Parliament next Tuesday — two weeks after MPs refused to allocate it time. Despite huge backing for the online appeal, the Backbench Business Committee attempted to block discussion in the Commons despite having 70% more signatures than is required.
Secured under pressure from Andy Burnham, the debate will be seen as the final attempt to delay the legislation, expected to reach the statute book by 20 March. The poorly-drafted bill is one of the most amended in history, with government Lords forced into making yet more concessions yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have their work cut out trying to crush the revolt against Lansley’s reforms at their conference in Gateshead.