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National Health Action Party gets interim leader after founder resigns

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3935 (Published 14 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3935
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The doctor and co-founder of the National Health Action (NHA) Party has resigned from his position as leader, citing “irreconcilable differences of opinion” within the party’s executive committee.

The consultant oncologist Clive Peedell was instrumental in establishing the party in 2012 to campaign in support of the NHS and against the government’s stewardship of the health service.1 But Peedell revealed this week that he had decided to step down because of an internal dispute that arose after he accused one of the party’s executive of “bringing the organisation into disrepute.”2

Peedell explained, “As leader of the party, I had received a number of complaints about the behaviour of an individual on the executive committee. I took the view that this individual was bringing the organisation into disrepute and believed that an immediate expulsion was necessary.

“The executive committee took the view that an investigation panel should be set up, but a temporary suspension was not issued. After suffering personal verbal abuse from the individual involved, I felt that I could no longer continue in post whilst the individual was still a member of the executive committee. I do however believe that the committee will take this forward and the correct course of action will eventually be taken.”

He added, “I want to thank all supporters of the NHA Party for their brilliant support over the years. I will continue to fight for a publicly funded, provided, and accountable NHS, and a fairer, more equitable society.”

The NHA Party fielded 12 candidates at the 2015 general election and achieved 20 000 votes but did not unseat any of the high profile MPs it targeted.3

After Peedell’s departure the party announced that Paul Hobday, a GP in Kent for 30 years until he retired 2013, had been appointed interim leader and said that a new permanent leader would be elected at the party’s annual general meeting this autumn.

Hobday said, “The NHA is sad that Clive Peedell has resigned from his position as leader. Clive’s dedication to saving the NHS has inspired many people to join the fight. We know that Clive will always be an active NHS campaigner, and I wish him well and am grateful to him for all he’s done in building this party. I look forward to working closely with fellow executive committee members such as Louise Irvine and Carl Walker to prepare us to go from strength to strength on these foundations.

“The NHA is committed to fight for the same policies and principles that the party was founded on.”

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