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Sunday 11th March 2012 | 14:31
Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, in response to this morning's vote at the Liberal Democrat conference on the Health Bill, said:
"This discredited Bill has lurched from one disaster to another and, with this vote, has reached crisis point.
"Liberal Democrat members have withdrawn permission from their MPs and Peers to pass this Bill. They have stood up for the NHS and I applaud them for it. We are ready to work with them to find a way forward, as part of building a new coalition of patients, professionals and the public determined to protect our country's best-loved institution from these damaging plans.
"It is time for all parties to put the NHS first and political considerations aside. That is the clear message coming out of Gateshead. The Conference was right reject a tribal appeal from the Party Leader and right to remind him that what matters is the future of the NHS not the internal politics of the Coalition.
"There is now a crisis of confidence in this Bill and the Health Secretary's handling of it. This vote comes just days after an unprecedented Tribunal ruling ordering the Government to publish its Risk Register. It is now imperative that the Government complies with this ruling without delay so that Parliament can finally have all relevant information and the fullest possible debate about this Bill."