Peers join Earl Howe to force amendments to Mental Health Bill

Peers have vowed to force a series of votes in the House of Lords this afternoon if the government does not make further compromises to its controversial Mental Health Bill.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Conservative health spokesman Earl Howe said many peers still had concerns about the lack of principles on the face of the bill and the omission of a clause which made clear that certain criteria, such as sexual orientation or political beliefs, could not be grounds for detention.

And, flanked by Liberal Democrat and crossbench colleagues, Howe made it clear that peers were not convinced by a government amendment requiring the purpose of any treatment under the act to be beneficial. They want any compulsory treatment to have a “likelihood” of the person actually benefiting from it.

Peers have forced only one vote on the bill so far, on an amendment preventing people being sectioned unless they have impaired ability to make decisions about their treatment, in which the government was defeated by 225 votes to 119.

More information:

Bill faces prospect of political ‘ping-pong’

Mental Health Bill needs extra safeguards, say MPs and lords


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