GP and chair of Merton healthcare Dr Howard Freeman has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

A spokesperson said Dr Freeman has been recognised for his outstanding contribution in services for primary care and represents his exceptional achievements in his career as a local GP and his involvement in leading health services across the NHS.

It comes after the leader of Merton Council, Stephen Alambritis, called on Mr Freeman to resign after disagreements over the finances of the local NHS.

He is chairman of the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and of the London Clinical Commissioning Council.

On receiving his MBE Dr Howard said: "I am thrilled to be awarded this prestigious honour.

“This is a fantastic accolade to mark the achievements throughout my health service career."

Dr Howard has worked in general practice for 35 years and has been involved in local health commissioning and leadership for the borough of Merton and across the capital for 30 years.

He said "I have worked in Merton since the 1980s and I am enormously proud of the changes we've brought to general practice and the wider health economy during that time."

Eleanor Brown, chief officer of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are all delighted for Howard.

“He has worked tirelessly to promote general practice, locally and nationally.

“This award is truly deserved."

Dr Freeman is the clinical chairman of Merton CCG, as well as the chair of the London Clinical Commissioning Council which represents all GP commissioners in London.

He studied at Cambridge University and University College London Hospital (UCLH) and began his career as a GP in London in the early 1980s.

Until recently he presided over the largest GP practice in south west London.

Dr Freeman also sits on the London Health Board which a spokesperson said is the new strategic health board for London promoting the wellbeing of the capital’s residents.

He has also played key roles as part of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).