A former chief executive of the Health Education Authority, who quit after falling out with Conservative government ministers over a 'smutty' safe sex guide for children, is to help the Liberal Democrats overhaul their health policy.

Spencer Hagard, who is professor of public health and policy at the London School of Tropical Medicine, is one of a five-strong team which will present new health manifesto proposals to party conference next autumn.

Health spokesman Simon Hughes will lead the review. Other team members are South and East Belfast Health and Social Services trust medical director Lord (John) Alderdyce, director of research at Age Concern Gordon Lishman, and party researcher Andy Tucker.

Professor Hagard led the HEA for seven years until 1994 before disagreements with ministers over policy and tone - epitomised in 1993 by the controversial Pocket Guide to Sex aimed at teenagers - led to a parting of the ways.

The review, which was precipitated by Labour's recent health policy pronouncements, will look at three areas in particular: rationing, accountability to patients, and long-term NHS funding.