UK doctor who led banned Hizb ut-Tahrir group suspended from NHS

Wahid Shaida works as general practitioner at a surgery in London

Dr Wahid Shaida during a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest at the Egyptian embassy in London. Alamy
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A doctor who led the UK branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir has been suspended by the National Heath Service after the fundamentalists were designated a terrorist group by Britain.

Dr Wahid Shaida works as general practitioner at a surgery in London and used the name Abdul Wahid when he was head of the British branch of the organisation before it was banned this month.

The Home Office announced the ban on January 19 and said Hizb ut-Tahrir’s praise for the attacks in Israel on October 7 by Hamas promoted and encouraged terrorism.

The group's website described the Hamas fighters as “heroes”.

Dr Shaida is based in Harrow, north-west London and, according to the medical centre's website, has been working there since 2002.

He also has responsibility for training doctors but the NHS confirmed he had been suspended.

“We take any issues relating to professional conduct seriously and have procedures in place to make sure that individuals are fit to work in the NHS,” a representative of NHS London told The National.

“We can confirm that Dr Wahid Shaida has been suspended from the NHS primary care performers list.”

Local MP Bob Blackman told The National he was concerned some patients would feel uncomfortable at Dr Shaida's surgery due to the views he has expressed.

“Everyone should feel safe in accessing GP services and this represents a direct risk,” said the Conservative politician.

Mr Blackman has welcomed Hizb ut-Tahrir being designated terrorists and said any of its members who are not UK citizens should be deported.

“I also take the view that as Hizb ut-Tahrir is now a proscribed organisation, supporters who are foreign nationals should be deported.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir has organised rallies in London, which took place alongside pro-Palestine marches in the months after the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Founded in 1953, Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in Germany, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as several central Asian and Arab countries. Austria banned the group's symbols in May 2021.

The Lebanon-based organisation operates in 32 countries including the UK, the US, Canada and Australia and has the long-term goal of establishing a caliphate.

The General Medical Council, the UK’s independent regulator of doctors, told The National it was “aware of the concerns that have been raised” about Dr Shaida who “is registered with a licence to practise”.

“We can and will investigate serious concerns that suggest patient safety or the public’s confidence in doctors may be at risk and will take action where it is necessary,” a representative said.

“If we were to receive a complaint or a self-referral about the actions of a doctor involved in a protest or commenting on social media, we would have a legal duty to consider the issues raised.

“As with all complaints, we would make our decision based on the specific facts of the case, using the professional standards that apply to all doctors registered to practise in the UK, to assess whether the doctor’s actions have fallen seriously or persistently below the standards we expect.”

Updated: January 23, 2024, 3:58 PM