RIBA members have called on president Ruth Reed to support London Regional Council (LRC) chair Azar Djamali, ahead of a vote of no confidence scheduled to take place today (29 April)
The vote follows calls from members for Djamali’s resignation (AJ 15.04.10).
Despite attempts from Chris Roche, LRC councillor, and veteran councillor Sam Webb to intervene in the matter, Reed has remained outside the process.
In a letter to Reed, Roche said: ‘Having examined the RIBA charter and bylaws, including the redbook, I can see no guidance on a vote of no confidence in the chair. If there is not a precedent, or a mechanism, for a vote of no confidence as currently proposed, then the validity of the vote will inevitably be brought under public scrutiny.’
Webb explained: ‘A meeting has been called and Djamali didn’t have any hand in drawing up the agenda. That is very strange. I attended two meetings where I found the behaviour of members and some of the staff very hostile to the chair.’
Despite the protestations, Reed asked Webb to ‘step back and allow the honorary officers to oversee and assist the region in finding a way through this mess’.She added: ‘There are many sides and opinions in this and I am keeping an open mind.’
Minutes from LRC’s last council meeting reveal Djamali criticised the ‘team’ for not being ‘more involved’ and for not ‘doing as told’ with regards to her plans to make property developer Lord Palumbo a patron of the region.
Following the disagreement, members brought the chair’s report to an early close. The minutes, seen by the AJ, reported that the discussion became ‘un-professional’ and ‘inappropriate’.
Attendees of tonight’s meeting have been sent a copy of the famousNolan Principles on standards in public life. The agenda reveals that Chris Hampson, one of the instigators in the vote, will lead a discussion of the principles before addressing the ‘impact of current situation on the work of London region’.