Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Name: Peter Hawker

Job : Chair, British Medical Association's central consultants'and specialists'committee Style: Top docs'Napoleon. A devotee of military history and 'passionate horseman', he is set to negotiate the first new NHS consultant contract since Nye Bevan stuffed the doctors'mouths with gold. But the government's 'unacceptable and insulting'proposed seven-year ban on private work was not what the good doc had in mind after two years of 'seeking urgent negotiations'over consultants'workloads. Alan Milburn's offer to stuff their mouths with a£10k cheque is still on the table. But progress has been too slow for a man who 'seems to live on coffee'. A consultant in 'the modern mould'who reads Jane Austen and can even be found without a bow tie, he is also 'frustrated by 'the Sir Lancelot Spratt thing'.

Background: Consultant gastroenterologist at Warwick Hospital Acute trust who held a string of local and national BMA posts before taking the consultants' committee chair in 1998. The staunch defender of consultants'rights was not afraid to declare the fury of press and public over Rodney Ledward 'justified'. And he compared attempts to avoid the words 'no confidence'in a debate on the General Medical Council with Basil Fawlty's 'do not mention the war'.

Future prospects: Must fancy his chances, with Milburn's election-time strategy of taking on the outfit dubbed 'Britain's most powerful trade union'a risky one. 'I would remind politicians and managers - you are transient. . . chief executives look a mere three years or so ahead, secretaries of state not much longer. . . 'Although even Napoleon met his Waterloo.