President of Royal Institute of British Architects returns to position

Disgraced President of Royal Institute of British Architects returns to position after admitting he had an affair with a woman he mentored

  • Married father-of-two Alan Jones, 55, had a relationship with Sanoara Begom, 40
  • Mr Jones announced he would be temporarily vacating his position at RIBA
  • He returned to the role Monday after apologising to RIBA members for behaviour

Disgraced president of the Royal Institute of British Architects has returned to his role after admitting he had an affair with a woman he mentored.

Married father-of-two Alan Jones, 55, – who has been described as ‘deeply religious’ – had a relationship with architectural assistant Sanoara Begom, 40.

Details of their affair were revealed in April and the Queen’s University Belfast professor announced he would be temporarily vacating his position at RIBA.

But he was back in the role on Monday after he apologised to members of the 180-year-old institute and told them his behaviour ‘was not of the standard you have a right to expect of me’.

Disgraced president of the Royal Institute of British Architects Alan Jones, 55, (pictured with his wife Laura, 54) has returned to his role after admitting he had an affair with a woman he mentored

The pair were introduced by former RIBA president Ben Derbyshire after Miss Begom wrote to him in March 2018 to complain about alleged racist and Islamophobic remarks from colleagues at her Birmingham employer.

She left the firm after taking legal action over a pay row but Riba declined to help because the practice was not a member.

Miss Begom also wrote a report about inequality in the profession which was 64-pages long, The Guardian reports.

Married father-of-two Jones, 55, – who has been described as ‘deeply religious’ – had a relationship with architectural assistant Sanoara Begom, 40 (pictured)

In his letter, Mr Jones, who lives in a house he designed in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with his dentist wife Laura, 54, wrote: ‘You will have seen media articles about recent events and that I was stepping back from my post for a period. 

‘I am writing to explain what happened and to apologise for my conduct which led to this, which was not of the standard you have a right to expect of me.

‘Some time ago I came into contact with a person who had become frustrated in her attempts to enter our profession. 

Details of their affair were revealed in April and the Queen’s University Belfast professor (pictured) announced he would be temporarily vacating his position at RIBA

‘My intention was to help and support her, however gradually we became friends and later the relationship became close for some months. In March, matters between us came to a head. I disclosed the matter to my wife and to the RIBA which led to a report being made to the Charity Commission.

‘In December 2019 when I had been asked about this by members of the RIBA staff, I did not give a full and frank account of events. 

‘This I plainly should have done. I have now apologised to those concerned for this serious failing and have undertaken to the RIBA Board that nothing like this will happen again.

‘I am sorry for the distraction my conduct has caused to the RIBA at a time when our focus should be on supporting our members. I offer you all my sincere and unqualified apology.’

The institute investigated the affair and submitted a serious incident report to the Charity Commission, which regulates it, over potential reputational damage. 

The institute (pictured) investigated the affair and submitted a serious incident report to the Charity Commission, which regulates it, over potential reputational damage

A spokeswoman said: ‘In March 2020, RIBA President Alan Jones disclosed matters to the RIBA Board of Trustees concerning his private life and a relationship with an individual known to but not a member of RIBA. 

‘The RIBA Board instructed the law firm Browne Jacobson LLP to conduct an independent investigation which has now been concluded. 

‘As a result, and in line with RIBA’s Code of Conduct for Council members, the matter has been resolved fairly and proportionately and Alan Jones has apologised. Alan Jones will resume RIBA Presidential duties from Monday 15 June 2020.’

Source: Read Full Article