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GPs have no confidence in ministers

GPs passed a resounding vote of no confidence in the Government and health secretary Patricia Hewitt at a fiery LMCs conference.

Last year the conference backed off from a similar motion for fear of harming negotiations with ministers. But this year the profession showed it had lost patience with a Government that had awarded an effective pay cut, reneged on the pensions deal and was attempting to force changes to aspects of the GMS contract.

Only one representative voted against the motion, after Dr Michael Griffiths of Gwent LMC called on the conference 'to demonstrate the strength of feeling of lack of confidence and treachery'.

Dr Eric Rose of Buckinghamshire LMC said the department had been trying to make GPs a scapegoat for the NHS's problems and GPs had had enough of Ms Hewitt's 'sugary words', adding: 'I hope very soon you will be hearing the Sugary words "You're fired!".

'GPC chair Dr Hamish Meldrum signalled negotiators no longer believed there was anything to gain from holding back from the no-confidence vote. He said: 'However you vote I don't think my hands will be tied'.

Earlier Dr Meldrum called for talks with the Government, warning that GPs would vote on industrial action unless the pay freeze ended next year.

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