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House of Lords defeat for elected Police commissioners shows the Liberal Democrats are becoming the Coalition's anti-reform faction

Matthew Barrett Lords_Chamber

The Coalition government has been defeated in the House of Lords over the policy of introducing directly elected Police commissioners. A Liberal Democrat amendment won by 188 votes to 176. Labour and Lib Dem peers joined to block the reforms - and potentially opened up a long fight to pass legislation on the issue. The Police Reform Bill now goes back to the House of Commons. 

The Coalition Agreement specifies the introduction of "measures to make the police more accountable through oversight by a directly elected individual". On Sunday, Sky reported:

A Lib Dem party source told Sky News the relationship between the two parties would become more businesslike, with them determined the Government stick to the coalition agreement.

So, are Liberal Democrat members of the Coalition failing to uphold their new emphasis on sticking to the Coalition Agreement? 

There is also a general pattern emerging: Liberal Democrat opposition has brought progress on the NHS reforms to a standstill, watered down any potential radicalism in the public sector reform White Paper, and now stopped elected Police commisioners, the cornerstone of reformist Conservative policy. The Liberal Democrats are becoming the anti-reform faction of the Coalition. 


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