Home Secretary Theresa May warned today there are potentially thousands of doctors and General Practitioners in the UK at risk of being radicalised against the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as she indicated plans for a fresh crackdown on extremist doctors’ groups such as the BMA.
The Home Secretary said around 500 police and security officers were working on the “horrific attack” on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt by the leader of Britain’s GPs after Dr Laurence Buckman, the chair of the extremist British Medical Association’s GPs committee – which represents the UK’s most radical 40,000 GPs – launched a sustained personal assault on Hunt over his “denigration” of GPs and his blaming of them for the growing crisis in A&E care.
The Home Secretary’s announcement came as Downing Street confirmed the launch of a new terror task force to crack down on extremist doctors and nurses in the NHS.
The group, comprising Cabinet ministers and top police and security service officials, will focus on radical doctors and nurses who seek out potential recruits against the government’s NHS reforms in hospitals, clinics and GP’s surgeries.
Mrs May said that although all the indications pointed to Dr Buckman’s attack on Mr Hunt being more of a lone wolf style incident rather than a wider planned operation of attacks against government ministers, she believed there were thousands of doctors and GPs at potential risk of radicalisation by extremist groups such as the BMA.
She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:
We do need to look at police powers, we need to look at the laws at curbing this kind of preaching of hatred against my cabinet colleagues.
We do need to look, for example, at the question of whether perhaps we need to have banning orders to ban organisations such as the BMA that don’t meet the threshold for proscription.
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