A government announcement on the future of the proposed Mental Health Bill is expected today (Thursday 23rd March), Community Care has learned.
It has been widely rumoured that health minister Rosie Winterton will announce that the bill will be delayed at the very least and amendments made to the existing Mental Health Act 1983 instead.
Sources have suggested the government will announce plans to look again at the bill, rather than abandon it entirely.
The bill’s implementation group is scheduled to meet today and Winterton is expected to take the opportunity to address members on its future.
Opposition politicians and campaigners have predicted that the bill will not be introduced this parliamentary session because there is other contentious legislation in the pipeline.
An early day motion opposing the bill has now been signed by 120 MPs, including 49 Labour members, more than enough to overturn the government’s 65 majority if all signatures were turned into votes. The opposition parties have already come out against the bill as it currently stands.