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It's Hyett! Former AJ columnist clinches the RIBA presidency

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Paul Hyett has romped home in the race to become the new RIBA president.

In a clear victory, former AJ columnist Hyett was confirmed as the new man at the helm after defeating his closest rival, the former director-general of the institute Alex Reid and the self-professed man of the regions, Brian Godfrey.

Of 6,872 votes cast - 24.5 per cent of the electorate and a slight drop on 1999's 25 per cent turnout and 1997's 34 per cent - the first round went to Hyett. He notched up 3,104 (45 per cent), dwarfing Reid's 1,934 votes (28 per cent). Brian Godfrey in third place managed 1,834 votes (27 per cent) so he was eliminated from the running. The second round, after redistribution of the second preferences, worked out as Hyett gaining 4,094 (62 per cent) compared to Reid's 2,438 (37 per cent).

Paul Hyett said as the news broke: 'I'm really delighted, it's wonderful.'

He told the AJ his reign would focus on continuity. 'Absolutely at the top will be the sustainability programme, working with CABE, particularly on funding the architecture centres, working with Lord Rogers to see through the task force recommendations and realising the benefits of a new-found understanding of ARB.' Of the often dirty campaign with his opponent Reid, he added: 'There were mistakes, there were upsets, but I don't have any bitterness and I don't feel bruised.'

Alex Reid could not be contacted as AJ went to press, but he will be cheered that he has successfully been elected to serve on Hyett's council.

Godfrey said: 'I am disappointed as I thought I would have got more votes. I feel that small practices will be in the same, difficult position as they were before the election. But what I stood for cannot be ignored by the RIBA because of the number of the profession that voted for me.' He added that he now has 'more important things to think about' after his youngest daughter gave birth this week.

Current president Marco Goldschmied was happy at the news. 'I'm pleased for Paul because I think he put a lot into it and think he'll make a good president.' But Goldschmied said it would be 'inappropriate' to comment on Reid's failure to win. 'I'm a great believer in the democratic system, ' he said.

Institute chief executive Richard Hastilow said in a prepared statement: 'I congratulate Paul on his success and the other candidates on a good contest.'

Hyett takes up his post in July.

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