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Not the sound of a 'listening president'. . .

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Marco Goldschmied's comments on Alex Reid's performance and motivation drew a personal conclusion from factual observations. Uncomfortable, but fair enough. I was more concerned with Reid's response, which was to request that Goldschmied's question 'be struck from the record because otherwise some potential problems may lie ahead'.

I took this to be a threat of legal action against the RIBA and/or Building Design. While the thought of a presidential candidate suing the RIBA does have its amusing side, this attempt to gag the debate did not sit well with his claim that he would be a listening president if elected. My qualms on this were shared by twice RIBA president, Owen Luder, who said: 'My experience of Alex is that he is not a listener - he has his own agenda.'

It would have been inappropriate for Paul Hyett to either support or distance himself from Goldschmied or Luder's views. It is retrospective debate on Reid's patchy record. Hyett is rightly focusing on the future.

His stamp is that of an ethical architect pursuing good architecture and points of principle, while operating in the hurlyburly of practice. A bit more of that at Portland Place would be just fine.

Jack Pringle, London

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