Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 7:45 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, I would like to comment on the three amendments in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, and then speak to the two amendments that we have in this group. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I am very happy that the noble Lord saw fit to take three of the amendments that we tabled in Committee and to make them his own. Those are Amendments 186, 187 and 188. That is fine by us. I understand that the Minister will be very sympathetic to these amendments and might accept them, which is probably just as well, as I would hate to embarrass the Liberal Democrat Benches any further by having votes on amendments that they have tabled and speak to but then do not support.

These three amendments would stop a review from happening. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, and his colleagues need to tell us that they have won a great victory by getting the Government to concede on these amendments. Far be it from me to intrude on the coalition party's love-in, so to speak. When we tabled these amendments in Committee they were part of an overall, comprehensive change to Part 3 of the Bill. In many ways these amendments were part of the tidying up of our suite of amendments to effect radical change to and improvement of Part 3. We certainly support these amendments.

I turn to Amendments 196A and 196B, which stand in my name and that of my noble friend. We do not understand why the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, did not also table those amendments as he is going to be very successful in having his amendments agreed to. In fact we think that there is no need to have any mention of the Competition Commission in the Bill. For the sake of completeness, we would have preferred those amendments to be included. Perhaps I may implore the Minister to accept them as well.