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Who are the doctors standing as MPs in the UK general election?

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1357 (Published 25 June 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1357
  1. Tom Moberly, UK editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. tmoberly{at}bmj.com

Doctors working in a wide range of specialties and from across the political spectrum have put themselves forward for election as members of UK parliament this year. Tom Moberly speaks to some of this year’s candidates

At least 31 doctors are standing for election as MPs in the 2024 general election, including two doctors running in the same constituency.

In the South West Wiltshire constituency, Andrew Murrison, who served as a medical officer in the Royal Navy, is being challenged by Bret Palmer, a consultant in genitourinary medicine, sexual health, and HIV medicine. Murrison has been Conservative MP for the constituency since 2001, while Palmer is running for the Liberal Democrats.

Palmer says that he faces an uphill battle in the seat, as Murrison has a majority of 21 000. “South West Wiltshire has one of the oldest populations in the UK and is very conservative,” he says. “However, GP and hospital waiting times are starting to make people think of different options.”

For many of the doctors standing for election, running for parliament offers the opportunity to improve patients’ lives on a larger scale than can be achieved in a single consultation, at a practice or service level, or even through work in public health.

Anna Fryer, a consultant liaison psychiatrist, is standing in Pendle and Clitheroe for the Liberal Democrats. She says the notion that “politics is nothing but medicine at a larger scale”—as the German physician and politician Rudolf Virchow remarked—is still relevant today. “At the heart of it, many health and social care workers want to make a positive impact on patients and carers and make people’s lives better,” she says. “The same is true in politics.”

Others are more blunt about the need for change. “This country is broken,” says David Nicholl, clinical lead for neurology …

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