The General Medical Council in London is due to resume its hearing into his research on MMR and autism. It will decide whether he and two colleagues, Professors John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, are guilty of serious professional misconduct and should be struck off the medical register.

Dr Wakefield said in a statement issued on Tuesday: “We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false. Let me make it absolutely clear that, at its heart, the GMC hearing has been about the protection of MMR vaccination policy.

“The case has been driven by an agenda to crush dissent that in my opinion serves the Government and the pharmaceutical industry – not the welfare of children. It’s important to note that there has never been a complaint against any of the doctors by any parent involved in this case – only universal parental support and gratitude.”

The General Medical Council ruled that Dr Wakefield showed a callous disregard for the suffering of children and subjected some youngsters to unnecessary tests.

The GMC also said that he abused his position of trust as he researched a possible link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism.

He also brought the medical profession “into disrepute” after he took blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party in return for £5 payments.

The GMC panel ruled all three doctors were guilty of undertaking research on children without approval from an ethics committee.