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RIBA presidential race hots up

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The race for the RIBA presidency accelerated this week, with a further candidate throwing his hat into the ring while another unveiled his policy ticket.

Vice-president for education Jack Pringle has confirmed plans to contend the election while Brian Godfrey has launched his bid to secure the 60 signatures required to win a place in the ballot.

Pringle said he was yet to formulate a formal policy document but admitted that 'it will be a difficult race to win, with so many candidates already announced'.

Godfrey - a national councillor who stood in the 1999 presidential election and won 27 per cent of the vote - is running under a banner of 'restoring democracy to the institute and saving the regions'.

Making a call for support from small practitioners, Godfrey launched a savage attack on the institute's current leadership and called for the three regions currently under threat of closure to be saved.

'It is now clear that elected councillors are being sidelined by the institute's executive and non-elected members have been appointed to positions of authority normally given over to elected members, ' his policy flyer reads.

'We are not a commercial company, we are a professional, membership-led institute that democratically elects their fellow members to positions on National Council.

'It is time to stand up and be counted and I have two options: to try and change the current autocracy for democracy by standing for presidency again this year or express my disgust by resigning my membership.

'It is not a decision to be taken lightly, ' Godfrey adds in the pamphlet. 'However, insanity has prevailed and I have decided to run again.'

Meanwhile, another potential candidate, Richard Feilden of Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects, announced his decision not to run. 'I thought long and hard about it as it is something I'm really interested in, but I decided my life outside RIBA politics at the moment is just too interesting, ' he said.

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