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A driving force behind the move to create the new UK Public Health Association has been elected its chair.

Freelance policy analyst Geof Rayner, chair of the Public Health Alliance, which merged with the Association for Public Health to create the new organisation, was elected unopposed.

Shirley Goodwin, associate director of health strategy at Hillingdon health authority, will be vice-chair. The treasurer will be John Beal, a former treasurer of the APH. The elections failed to fill five regional seats, amid claims that there was not enough effort put into encouraging people to stand. But fierce competition for the national seats saw 12 candidates for five places.

Dr David Player, former director of the old Health Education Council and a supporter of the Black report on health inequalities, took one of the national seats.

Also elected were Wakefield health action zone director Lee Adams, Liverpool University public health lecturer Dr Jeremy Richard Scott-Samuel and Professor David Hunter of Leeds University.

Dr Jackie Spiby, director of public health at Bromley HA, and Stephen Hesford, Labour MP for Wirral West and founder of the all-party parliamentary group on primary care and public health, were among the runners-up.