Pugh condemns Lansley reforms
John Pugh has accused Andrew Lansley of taking Labour's "NHS experiment" to "its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion".
Speaking during an emergency motion discussion at the Lib Dem conference, he said: "Some thanks are due to Andrew Lansley, and you may ask why.
"I have a very simple reason for this: he has woken the country to the ultimate absurdity of a 20-year experiment with the NHS. Because what he has endeavoured to do is take the Blairite model for the NHS to its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion."
Mr Pugh was supported by Andrew George, who said: "The NHS is more important to the public than the fate of any political party. Yes, Labour paved the way, with Tory support, but this is primarily a Tory plan with our grudging support or possible acquiescence. It’s often said ‘it’s the economy, stupid’.
"Well, I think that the future fate of both this party and this Coalition Government needs to take heed of the concept that actually: ‘it’s the NHS, stupid’."
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes admitted that the party did not “have a procedure” in place to effectively scrutinise the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill in its initial form.