A consultant anaesthetist has been named as the new chairman of council at the British Medical Association (BMA).
Dr Mark Porter was revealed as successor to Dr Hamish Meldrum who has stepped down from the role after five years.
Dr Porter will now become Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's key point of contact concerning doctors' protests over the Government's controversial pension reforms.
Earlier this week, he addressed the BMA conference in Bournemouth saying that the proposed pension reforms were "not fair, not moral and not just".
He said: "I do not believe doctors have taken action lightly.
"I do know that doctors can and will take part in talks that are not loaded and biased from the start, giving the pretence of talks for the purposes of media spin.
"Secretary of State, we will talk, we will negotiate, we are reasonable people. Will you?"
Meetings between the two could be tense after the union this morning called for Mr Lansley's resignation, saying they had "no confidence" in him.
"I'm excited and privileged to be taking on this role at what is clearly a particularly challenging time for the NHS and the medical profession," Dr Porter said.
"The BMA will continue to work to help its members do the best for its patients during a time of huge change, and often huge financial difficulty, for the NHS."
Dr Porter, who works at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, specialises in obstetric anaesthesia.
He has been chairman of the BMA's Consultants Committee since 2009.
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