Dr Hamish Meldrum, a GP from East Yorkshire, has been elected chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) Council.
Dr Meldrum, who has been chairman of the BMA's GPs' Committee since 2004, was elected in a three-way contest at a meeting of the BMA Council today (Thursday 28 June 2007). He will now stand down as the GPC chairman.
He takes over immediately from the Acting Chairman of Council, Dr Sam Everington, who had been in the post since the resignation of James Johnson on 25 May 2007.
Dr Meldrum said: "I feel very privileged to have been elected chairman of BMA Council.
"With a new leader of the country and a new leader of the BMA, this is a chance for a fresh start. Gordon Brown must fully engage with all health professionals if he is serious about his commitment to the principles and values of the NHS."
He said that "serious challenges" had to be faced, including "continuing threats to previously-agreed contracts for GPs and consultants."
He added: "All this is in the context of uncertainties about devolution and the future direction of travel for the NHS, including the influence of the private sector."
Dr Meldrum has been involved in medical politics since the 1980s. He joined the BMA's GPs' Committee in 1991, was Chairman of the East Yorkshire Local Medical Committee between 1996 and 1999, became a GPC Negotiator in 1997 and has been GPC Chairman since 2004.