Stinging rebuke over NHS plans
Nick Clegg has suffered a stinging rebuke from his own party over radical coalition plans to shake up the NHS.
Liberal Democrat activists overwhelmingly passed a motion criticising proposals to put GPs in control of commissioning services.
Speaker after speaker called for a rethink during a debate at the party's spring conference in Sheffield.
Former Cabinet minister Baroness Shirley Williams branded the changes "lousy", while backbencher Andrew George insisted the party should not be "the architects of (the NHS's) demise".
Amendments to a motion put forward by Health Minister Paul Burstow were passed almost unanimously by activists.
They objected to the "damaging and unjustified market-based approach" being taken by the Government.
"Conference regrets that some of the proposed reforms have never been Liberal Democrat policy, did not feature in our manifesto or in the agreed Coalition Programme, which instead called for an end to large-scale top-down reorganisations," the text stated.
Lady Williams said she did not want to damage Mr Clegg or the coalition.
But she insisted the Deputy Prime Minister was allowing the "treasured" health service to be put at risk.
"We did not expect a massive reorganisation and one which will fall within a period when many of our fellow citizens are worried about whether they will keep their jobs and how they will pay for petrol and food," she said.