Clegg won't block Lib-Dem MPs' health revolt
Amid the widespread anger in his party over Andrew Lansley's health reforms, The Standard understands that Nick Clegg will not force his MPs to overturn Lib-Dem backed amendments made in the Lords to the Health and Social Care Bill.
Baroness Williams predicts that it is "highly unlikely" that Lib-Dem MPs will be whipped to force through key parts of the health shake-up, which are blocked by peers, and says it is "quite a dramatic advance."
Separately, Lib-Dem parliamentarians are drawing up rival plans to Mr Lansley’s health bill in case the Government is forced to ditch it completely.
The moves will infuriate Tory MPs.
Mr Clegg’s aides strongly believe that a deal can be reached between Lib-Dem peers and Mr Lansley which would avoid a Commons showdown over key issues including competition, conflicts of interest and regulation which are being debated in the Lords this week.
But they did not rule out Lib-Dem MPs being given a free vote on changes to the bill made by the Upper Chamber if no compromise can be agreed.