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. . . as Lord St John launches attack on heritage chairman

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Royal Fine Art Commission chairman Lord St John of Fawsley launched an outspoken attack on 'megalomaniac' Sir Jocelyn Stevens this week and his 'utterly disgraceful' behaviour over the gla affair.

Lord St John told the aj this week that he had acted as 'the catalyst' and 'mediator' in persuading the developer to rethink and resubmit the scheme after the sorry affair last weekend - so the contest is back on, with a decision expected at the end of next week.

Lord St John rubbished Stevens' suggestion that eh was free to show its card once the consultation period had elapsed. Nick Raynsford, chairman of the panel that will choose the winner, reassured St John that the rfac was on exactly the same footing - to say nothing publicly until the final decision had been made.

'Then the blunderbuss went off,' said Lord St John. 'The whole thing is utterly disgraceful. Jocelyn never could look facts in the face - what he did was grossly prejudicial - not only to Alsop but also to Norman Foster'. Lord St John explained that it was not in the public interest to have only one scheme on the table, and that Raynsford anyway had to justify the eventual choice on cost grounds to the Treasury. He also attacked the eh boss for 'blundering in and condemning' Foster and Partners' proposals for the London Millennium Tower and for seeming to go so public, perhaps in a bid to jockey himself into position for the new post of dcms champion of architecture.

'It's dreadful to deal with such a man. They're not there to consult on contemporary architecture - it's an awful mess made out of something that's so important,' he said.

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