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Independents' Day

Now Warner takes his own pension

Just weeks after imposing a cap on GPs' pensions, health minister Lord Warner of Brockley is to start drawing on his own retirement fund, writes Helen Crump.

The 66-year-old peer, who has been minister of state since the May 2005 general election will pick up his own, uncapped, pension from the end of the year.

Lord Warner, a former civil servant, said he had decided to retire after a 'busy and enjoyable' three-and-a-half years at the Department of Health.

His tenure as minister for

reform has become more controversial towards its close.

As well as the pensions cap and other GP pay issues, Lord Warner is the minister responsible for Choose and Book, the NHS Care Record, PCT reconfiguration and independent sector treatment centres.

Dr Brian McGregor, a GP in Acomb, York, said: 'I don't think he'll be missed. The view of most GPs I've spoken to was he was deliberately confrontational, antagonistic and virtually impossible to negotiate with.'

Dr Tony Grewal, vice-chair of Hillingdon LMC, said: 'Yee-hah. It's the first bit of good news general practice has had in

donkey's years.'

Meanwhile, Dr Mark Oliver, a GP in Stafford, has launched a petition on the Number 10 website against the pension cap.

The petition states that the cap is of 'questionable legality and morality' and urges the prime minister to overturn it in order to restore the Government's credibility.

The petition can be found

online at


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