The BMA has defied their leadership in calling for the health secretary to resign in a vote of no confidence at their Annual Representative Meeting in Bournemouth.
The no-confidence vote in Andrew Lansley was carried by 158 votes to 124. This was despite BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum calling on the conference to reject the motion.
Presenting the motion, Dr Gary Marlowe, a GP in Hackney, said Mr Lansley’s NHS and pensions reforms meant he should no longer continue as health secretary.
He said: ‘I’ve heard the argument that we cannot ask someone to resign if we have to negotiate with them tomorrow but he doesn’t listen anyway. He sticks his fingers in his ears.’
‘Trust lies at the heart of everything we do. I do not trust this man. I call for the resignation of Andrew Lansley.’
However, Dr Meldrum said that it ‘was not about one man’ and the BMA should continue to campaign against policies, not personalities. He warned that it would be harder to negotiate with Government if the conference passed the motion.
‘I’ve got to negotiate with him, and it’s awkward to say “here’s your p45- let’s talk”. This wasn’t about one man, there was a whole Government, a Lib Dem coalition, that supported it and others that helped it through. It’s a lovely symbolic gesture, but I’m not sure it means that much.’
GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said: ‘Resignation’s too good for Lansley, Cameron should sack him.’