Amend Mental Health Bill or face defeat, peer warns government

The government must allow major amendments to be made to the Mental Health Bill or face parliamentary defeats, an influential peer has warned ahead of the bill’s committee stage in the House of Lords today.

Lord Carlile, a Liberal Democrat peer and chair of the scrutiny committee which reviewed the 2004 draft mental health bill, said it was time for the government to start listening.

The bill seeks to extend compulsory community treatment and abolishes the requirement for a person to be considered treatable before they can be sectioned.

Carlile said a range of amendments with cross-party support had been tabled to “ensure that the public get a bill which is fit for purpose”.

Peers from all parties savaged the bill when it was tabled in the Lords in November.

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