Dr Laurence Buckman has been voted in as the new chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs' committee, following the departure of Dr Hamish Meldrum, who was recently sworn in as chairman of the BMA council.

Meldrum took over from James Johnson, who’s four-year stint behind the reigns came to an abrupt end on his resignation in May. According to the BMA, its members lost confidence in Johnson after a letter he penned with Dame Carol Black, Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, to The Times (May 17) over the government’s “mishandling” of the Medical Training Application Service “failed to reflect the anger being currently expressed by members of the Association, particularly junior doctors."

Commenting on his new position, Buckman said: “I feel honoured and determined. I want to give GPs back hope. We all remember what made us want to do the job in the first place and what made it feel good to be a GP. I believe we can restore that feeling and can make things be and feel better.”

A GP in north London, Buckman has been a member of the GPC since 1991 and a GPC negotiator since 1997. For the past three years, he has also been the committee’s deputy chairman, a post which will now be taken over by Leeds GP Dr Richard Vautrey, a member of the GPC since 1991 and a GPC negotiator since 1997. “There are huge challenges ahead for all of us, but I am sure we have a team which will be more than up to the task of representing the profession,” Vautrey said.

The negotiator

A new member of the GPC’s negotiating team was also elected: Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a GP in Stanmore, Middlesex, and member of the GPC since 1996 and current chairman of the Commissioning and Service Development sub-committee.