first_imgThe chairman of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee has resigned, after a backlash from medics following her decision to call off planned strikes.Dr Ellen McCourt stepped down on Friday night, saying it had become clear to her that her position was “untenable”.She will be replaced by her deputy Dr Pete Campbell, a Momentum supporter from the more militant wing of the union. Dr McCourt had been in post for just four months. Well that was unexpected. @TheBMA JDC chair Ellen McCourt just resigned. What now?— Helen Stigaard Laird (@Helenlaird) November 4, 2016 Her predecessor had resigned in July after a new contract for he had backed was rejected by a vote of junior doctors.After replacing him, Dr McCourt proposed that the union embark on the most crippling strike action in the history of the NHS, with months of week-long walkouts.That triggered despair among many doctors, who feared it would risk lives, and damage the credibility of their cause.The strikes were finally called off in September, after an all-day meeting of the junior doctors committee (JDC), which was deeply divided over the issue.Since then, Dr McCourt has been under increasing attack from more militant doctors, who have accused the union of presiding over a “toothless omnishambles” in their handing of the contract. I have continued to listen to junior doctors and it has become increasingly apparent to me that my position is untenableDr Ellen McCourtcenter_img In a statement, the junior doctor said: “I led the JDC to make decisions based on the position of our membership. I have defended the rights of junior doctors to make the decisions about their futures themselves and not have this right taken away from them.”I have faithfully upheld the wishes of the majority of junior doctors to reject the contract, their desire for escalated IA (industrial action) and the decision by JDC to suspend the action.”While I was deeply honoured to be re-elected as chair of JDC, over the past few weeks I have continued to listen to junior doctors and it has become increasingly apparent to me that my position is untenable.”A number of doctors had accused the the BMA of a “betrayal” of junior doctors for suddenly abandoning the strikes just 10 days before the walkouts were due to begin.The contract has now been introduced for some doctors, starting this month. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img