A longstanding member of the BMA’s GP Committee has been re-elected as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire representative, following controversy over the election process.
Dr Holden had voluntarily withdrawn from the election, but the BMA re-opened the process from nomination stage after seeking ‘independent legal advice on how to fairly conduct the election’, the BMA said.
His opponents have spoken out against the decision.
A BMA spokesperson said: ‘Earlier this year, we paused the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire regional election to GPC following complaints received. Following the voluntary withdrawal of one of the candidates from the election, we announced in June that we would be reopening these elections with the two remaining candidates.’
They added: ‘Following further complaints, we were required to delay opening the elections and seek further independent legal advice on how to fairly conduct the election.
‘As a result of that independent legal advice, we re-opened the entire election process, from nomination stage, with all eligible candidates able to stand.’
Dr Holden told Pulse: I was fully investigated under a formal BMA procedure by an external firm of lawyers and I was exonerated.’
The election was paused in the Spring, after GPs reported they received an unsolicited email from Derby and Derbyshire LMC’s office urging them to vote for incumbent representative Dr Peter Holden.
An investigation ‘found an email had been sent in error to GP practice administrators by an LMC without the agreement of the LMC officers and contrary to their own decision not to send emails supporting candidates in the BMA GPC election,’ the BMA said at the time.
The election process has drawn criticism, including from unsuccessful candidate Dr Shan Hussain and GP Survival chair Dr John Hughes.