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BMA GP Committee re-elects long-serving member despite email gaffe

transparency BMA

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 Peter Holden was elected as the regional rep for the GPC after the election was reopened following a long pause over a process ‘breach’.

Dr Holden had voluntarily withdrawn from the election, but the BMA re-opened the process from nomination stage after seeking ‘independent legal advice on how to fairly conduct the election’, the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.


Grant Jonathan Ingrams 26 October, 2021 10:57 am

As much as I like Peter as a person, he made an error, which he should have avoided with his level of experience. I am quite happy to be proved wrong, but far from being exonerated, the external review found that he had breached the ‘rules’ but that there was no sanction in the BMA’s Articles or Bye-laws. This does nothing to improve the image of the GPC or to encourage new members to stand for election.

Alan Woodall 26 October, 2021 11:56 am

I would suggest the two other candidates learn that the way to deal with this is to take legal action against the BMA. I’m sure a number of organisations would help them crowdfund this.

Kevlar Cardie 26 October, 2021 1:16 pm

I demand an immediate audit of exactly how many deckchairs there are on the RMS Titanic, broken down by serviceability, pattern ,design and year of construction.