Liverpool GP Ian Bogle has been elected chair of the British Medical Association's council, succeeding Sir Alexander Macara who stood down last week.

Dr Bogle, whose father and grandfather were GPs in the city, beat three other candidates to the five-year job, which traditionally rotates through GPs, hospital doctors and other groups.

Dr Bogle said he believed the council chair 'should be a doctor in active medical practice' and he would continue his work.

He has been involved in BMA politics since 1969, when he joined Liverpool medical services committee. From 1990 to 1997 he chaired the BMA's GP committee.

Country and Western fan Dr Bogle took part in a passionate debate against NHS charges at last year's annual representative meeting. 'My grandfather had only one member of ancillary staff and that was a debt collector, ' he said.

'I do not want to return to those days .'

This year, he supported a call for images of 'buxom wenches' in the media, saying his daughter had developed anorexia in her 20s, putting her health under strain.

Meanwhile, Jane Richards, chair of the representative body, was replaced by Professor Brian Hopkinson, and Sir Dillwyn Williams took over from Lord Kilpatrick as BMA president.