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Friday01 August 2014

AA hits back at Wickham allegations

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Brett Steele said resignation letter is a “baseless attack”

The Architectural Association has hit back in its spat with former council member Julyan Wickham.

Wickham resigned at the start of the week after complaining that the school was being run by a “cabal” that was, he claimed, “hell bent on undermining the future of the AA, with its long-held and good reputation as an institution of independent spirit and excellent values in architecture”.

Brett Steele

Brett Steele

But AA director Brett Steele told BD that Wickham’s five page resignation letter amounted to a “baseless attack” on the school.

“The letter contains many fabrications, gross exaggerations and baseless attacks on the considerable good work and activities underway at the AA today,” he said.

“The AA council is a democratic body with 18 elected councillors and it is unfortunate in the extreme that Mr Wickham has repeatedly defamed and denigrated their work simply because they do not share his point of view.”

Steele added that Wickham had resigned from the AA council before, during a previous time as a councillor. “It too was a period in which Mr Wickham frequently disagreed with the direction the AA was pursuing then,” he said.

Wickham’s resignation letter included a number of allegations in which he accused senior figures at the AA of “misleading” members and trustees.

Wickham, who runs Wickham van Eyck Architects, claimed there was a “lack of competent control of the AA’s finances” after the school was caught up in an alleged fraud involving leased office equipment, which it has admitted could cost it up to £5.5 million.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • zecks_marquise

    well if his comments are so untrue, they should sue him.

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  • Well said, Brett.

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  • tesserae

    Many people know Julian Wickham, they will judge accordingly. The AA is not a place where one can be out of kilter, but this is rarely mentioned, because previously it was an acknowledged and envied and mimmicked flag ship so individual thoughts misgivings were swallowed to permit international respect for their position. UK Architecture has got to take its credit where ever it can get it, not getting as much as it deserves!

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  • kamiichi

    how did brett steele get the job and how is he still in charge? the most monochrome chairman/director ever.

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  • Julian Wickham's only misdemeanour is that he has broken ranks and blown the whistle. The others are saying nothing.

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