Doctor accused of homophobia storms out of disciplinary hearing

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A GP who has given differing explanations about a letter published in his name that said gay people needed the “stick of law to put them on the right path” has stopped attending his disciplinary hearing.

Dr Muhammad Siddiq, who is President of the Islamic Medical Association, dismissed his barrister at a General Medical Council fitness to practise hearing and then left the proceedings when he was refused an adjournement to find new counsel.

In his absence, a journalist on the magazine in which the letter was published, Pulse, said that in conversation Dr Siddiq had confirmed many of the views expressed in the letter.

Anthony Lithgow testified that the GP thought homosexuality should be illegal, gender reassignment surgery is a waste of money and gays “prey on society.”

Dr Siddiq denies that he authored the letter and claims his son was playing a “cynical spoof” on him by forcing him to sign the letter and sending it to Pulse, a magazine for GPs.

The magazine published extracts of the letter and his employers, Walsall PCT Primary Care Trusts, called him to discuss his views.

He wrote to the PTC and apologised for the letter.

“I categorically and unreservedly apologise for the hurt and offence I may have caused to anyone who may have read my letter,” he wrote.

“I have practised as a GP for more than 30 years and have never discriminated on any grounds. I would never refuse any treatment because of someone’s sexuality.

“I just cannot understand how or why I could have said this in my letter.”

The fitness to practise hearing in Manchester heard that just a few days later he claimed his original draft letter had supported better treatment for gay patients.

“All the documents I have referred you to and Mr Lithgow’s evidence should leave you in no doubt that Dr Siddiq knew the content of the letter because he had written the letter and it must appear obvious to anyone that the views in it would be recognised as both homophobic and offensive,” said prosecutor Bernadette Baxter, according to Channel 4 News.

The letter to Pulse read:

“There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth in the streets. The gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen.

“They are causing the spread of disease with their irresponsible behaviour. They are the root of many sexually transmitted diseases.”

The letter went on to call a depressed transsexual awaiting gender reassignment “twisted.”

The hearing continues.