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Rogers unit to go, say mayor hopefuls

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Two of the three front-runners in London's forthcoming mayoral election have vowed to shut down Richard Rogers' Architecture and Urbanism Unit at City Hall.

Tory Steven Norris and Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes - both speaking at the Architecture Foundation's 'Shape of London' debate, sponsored by the AJ - said they would look instead to other sources of architectural advice.

Norris said there was no reason to support Rogers' approach. 'I like Richard as a man, ' he told the audience. 'But I cannot stand the Lloyd's Building, almost as much as I hate City Hall.'

And Hughes agreed that the unit should go, preferring instead advice from the many local authorities and amenity groups. 'I do not like central directives and I would much prefer to see a thousand flowers bloom, ' he added.

The candidates also agreed in other areas, with both Hughes and Norris prepared to retain the London Plan, if elected, with only 'minor tweaks'.

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