British union leader gets fired as a result of a vote of no confidence while she is on leave for childbirth.

Dr Farah Jameel, who was elected in 2021 as the first female chair of the BMA's GP committee, has received a vote of no confidence while on maternity leave.

The British Medical Association was charged with ‘inhumane’ conduct last night after passing a vote of no confidence in one of its top officials while on maternity leave.

Dr. Farah Jameel, a GP in London, was elected in November 2021 as the first female chairperson of the BMA’s GP Committee and has been on leave since December.

But members voted yesterday to kick her out of the role, saying they need ‘security’ as the union prepares to negotiate a new NHS GP contract in the coming months. A petition calling for the vote to be withdrawn attracted hundreds of signatures, with doctors insisting she had been “treated unfairly.”

One signatory described the move as “inhumane and thoughtless,” while another wrote: “It is disgraceful to treat Dr. Jameel this way while she is on maternity leave.” It comes on the heels of a scathing report on sexism published in 2019 that found the BMA had an “old boys club” culture and treated women “as less important and less able.”

The BMA commissioned Daphne Romney QC to lead the investigation after two members of its GP committee raised concerns about the treatment of women within the organisation. Women on the committee were asked “what their husbands think about them being away for so long,” and two members were heard loudly “estimating” a colleague’s bra size.

Dr Farah Jameel, who was elected in 2021 as the first female chair of the BMA’s GP committee, has received a vote of no confidence while on maternity leave.

The report prompted the BMA to claim it would use the findings as a “springboard for change.” But campaigners warn that the latest vote is holding women back from seeking leadership positions.

Joeli Brearley, founder of the Pregnant Then Screwed campaign group, said: ‘If women really want to be equal in every sector, then we have to accept that they are biologically different from men and not punish them for it.

‘Maternity discrimination comes in many forms – it is clear that Dr. Jameel has become another victim of the prejudice many hold against pregnant women and mothers.

‘Imagine what other female GPs think when they see Dr Jameel being treated simply because she dared to give birth and take maternity leave. It sends a strong message that women are not welcome in the top seat unless they act like men.

“What a tragedy for the medical industry and the talented, brilliant women who work there.”

Dr. Jameel took sick leave three months after being elected chair of the committee, in part because of sexist comments she received within the committee, GP magazine Pulse reported. When she returned, she was suspended in November 2022 following a complaint ahead of her sick leave, it added.

While the complaints procedure was underway, she went on maternity leave in December. The motion said the committee was “sympathetic to the chair and the difficult circumstances surrounding her absence” but “regrets and has no alternative”, but stating that it has no confidence in her and demands that an election be held “as soon as possible” for a replacement.

It blames the “ambiguity over the status of the alleged suspension.” [Dr Jameel] before significant imminent contractual and political turmoil’.

However, the reason Dr. Jameel is currently not fulfilling her duties is due to her maternity leave, not the suspension. Dr. Rachel Ali, who introduced the no-confidence motion, said: “Today’s motion was not brought by the actions of any individual.

“The reason for moving today’s motion was to give the committee a chance to give a clear democratic mandate to the leaders of the profession and end the uncertainty of recent months. As Chairman of the GP Equality Committee, I would like to assure members that we have considered this motion very carefully, and given the Committee’s standing orders, we believe it is the only fair way forward.”

The BMA said Dr Jameel will remain a member of GP England’s committee. A spokesman said the group “strongly condemns any form of sexism or racism.” Dr. Jameel declined to comment.