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Vice president urges Alex Reid to forget RIBA's top job

RIBA vice president John Wright last week demanded that Alex Reid should back out of the race to become RIBA president.

The move came as Wright, a director of Surrey-based Modern Design Group, ruled out his own candidacy for the job, declaring himself to be satisfied with the policies of Reid's opponent Paul Hyett.Wright is concerned that Reid, until June the director general of the RIBA, will clash with his replacement, chief executive Richard Hastilow.

'I don't think he should be standing for president, ' Wright said.'He will get in the way of the newly appointed chief executive. There is a moral issue here.'

Last week Reid insisted that working with Hastilow would not be a problem. 'I am completely confident I could work with him, ' he said.'Having sat in his seat, I am only too aware of his needs.'

The election is still four months away and candidates are currently collecting 60 signatures each for their nomination forms. Brian Godfrey has admitted that he is struggling to find names from his Devon base, but Hyett has already won the backing of a number of major architects. These include Nicholas Grimshaw, Piers Gough, Rick Mather, Marco Goldschmied and Will Alsop. Reid is being backed by Rod Hackney and Frank Duffy.

But in an Internet poll this week which asked AJ readers who should be the next president, Hyett was adrift from the leader, Godfrey, by 20 points. The small practitioner has taken a surprise lead with 43 per cent, Hyett is on 23 per cent and Reid was in last place with 17 per cent of the vote.Wright, who is now out of the running, was level with Reid. The AJ is running another poll on its website this week where visitors can choose between Hyett, Reid and Godfrey at www. ajplus. co. uk. Godfrey is profiled on page 28.

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