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Lib Dem Spring Conference in Liverpool

March 11, 2008

Nick with Brian Paddick

Apart from a nasty stomach bug I had a great time in Liverpool at the weekend.  My dad is still based in St Helens, so it was handy for Ruth, Zoe and I to pitch up and for me to toddle off on the Saturday to attend what turned out to be a fantastic health policy debate.

I am always proud of the fact that the Lib Dems remain the only major political party to set party policy on the floor of Conference.

I was sorry to have missed a speech by Vince Cable due to attending some training, but I did hear Brian Paddick’s speech (and spoke to him briefly afterwards) and I was very impressed.  I think his membership of our party and his candidacy for Mayor of London can only increase our credentials as a party that has the know-how to reduce crime in the UK.

But the highlight of the day was definitely the debate on health policy.  There were a couple of really important amendments to be discussed on the composition of Local Health Boards and the limiting of private sector involvement.  In respect of the LHB amendments, and after a long think, I voted for the motion unamended; and then voted for Amendment 3 – the limiting of private sector involvement in the NHS.

This was an important debate for our party, and in my view, this policy keeps us at the progressive forefront of British politics – with the interests of the most vulnerable in our society as our priority.  Long may it remain this way.

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