The BMA’s GP Committee in England has passed a vote of no confidence in its elected chair, Dr Farah Jameel, as a means of electing a new chair.
The vote was part of a motion1 proposed by committee member Dr Rachel Ali and seconded by several colleagues.
As deputy chair, Dr Kieran Sharrock became acting chair of the committee in 2022 when Dr Jameel went on maternity leave.
Nominations for the next chair of GPC England will open shortly, and Dr Sharrock will remain acting chair until a new chair has been elected.
Dr Jameel will remain a member of the GP England committee.
Dr Rachel Ali, GPC equalities lead and proposer of the motion, said: “Today’s motion wasn’t brought on by the actions of any individual. I want to thank the chair, acting chair and all of the GP Executive team for their huge efforts and excellent work. The reason for bringing today’s motion was to give the committee a chance to offer a clear democratic mandate to the leadership of the profession and end the uncertainty of the last few months.
“We have an absolutely critical window now to safeguard general practice and in these key few months we need to galvanise the committee and organise our colleagues across the country.
“As the GPC equalities chair I want to assure members that we have considered this motion very carefully, and given the Standing Orders of the committee, we feel it is the only fair way forward."
Rachel Podolak, co-CEO at the BMA, said: “The BMA’s resolution process is run independently and externally to the BMA, as recommended by the Romney and Tierney reviews. The process provides confidentiality to both complainants and respondents. We always aim to conclude all processes as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
1. The motion in full reads:
That this committee is deeply concerned at the lack of clarity surrounding the status of the alleged suspension of the Chair of GPCE ahead of significant impending contractual and political upheaval from now through 2024, and:
i) is sympathetic towards the Chair and the difficult circumstances surrounding her absence
ii) applauds the Acting Chair and Officer Team for their commitment, work, and leadership during the Chair's absence
iii) asserts that the proper, effective, democratic representation of the profession is of paramount importance to this committee
iv) regrets that it has no alternative but to declare that this committee has no confidence in the current elected Chair of GPCE, and demands elections be held as soon as possible for a new Chair (and subsequent Officer Team) in accordance with Standing Orders
Proposer: Rachel Ali
Seconders: Paul Evans, Bruce Hughes, Ivan Camphor, Mark Steggles, Diana Hunter, James Booth, Shaba Nabi, Matt Mayer, Rob Barnett.