Revenge: Doctors vow electoral punishment for NHS reform

By staff

Vulnerable Tory and Liberal Democrat seats will be targeted by GPs at the next election in a bid to punish those who helped the NHS reforms on to the statute book.

As the health and social care bill looks set to pass its remaining legislative hurdles, a coalition of nearly 250 doctors branded the law an "embarrassment to democracy" and promised to stand against its proponents.

"We are shocked by the failure of the democratic process and the facilitating role played by the Liberal Democrats in the passage of this bill," the group wrote in a letter to the Independent.

"We have therefore decided to form a coalition of healthcare professionals to take on coalition MPs at the next general election, on the non-party, independent ticket of defending the NHS."

The group will specifically target marginal seats and those held by high profile Lib Dems and Tories, including Nick Clegg and health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Jenny Bywaters, a retired public health consultant, pledged to stand against Mr Clegg in Sheffield Hallam.

Lord Owen will offer NHS campaigners their last chance to stop the bill tomorrow, when he leads an amendment calling for peers to hold back from voting until the risk register is published.

He will have Labour support but is unlikely to be backed by Liberal Democrat peers, despite party activists rejecting a motion calling on them to support the bill.