New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: Given the excellent agreement in New Forest East between leading Liberal Democrats and Conservatives that fluoridation should not be imposed on the community against its will, may we have a statement – not in the next two weeks, but perhaps in the next two minutes – from the Deputy Leader of the House, confirming that the fact that the Liberal Democrats have joined the Conservatives in government in no way vitiates the pledge given by shadow Conservative Health Ministers before the election that fluoridation should not and would not be imposed on communities that did not want it?

[The Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons (Mr David Heath): The hon. Gentleman will not have a statement from me on a matter of health policy, but he can quite properly ask hon. and right hon. Friends in the Department of Health to give a response. It seems to me that this is a very important issue – I have a great deal of sympathy with the hon. Gentleman's position – and I am sure that his constituents would like some clarity on the issue. However, I also know that the legislative framework under which these proposals are considered is the legislative framework introduced by the previous Government.]