ACCA president faces sack

ACCA’s president-elect Ray Gardiner will be fighting for his survival case. today after senior association figures table an 11th-hour motion of no confidence in him.

A council meeting this morning will hear calls from current president Michael Foulds and at least four past presidents for Gardiner to step down. The dispute is over his role in a recent disciplinary case involving Robert Jackson, the council member who was found guilty of backdating Norwich Union policy applications to obtain free shares.

The unprecedented attack by a serving president on his successor follows a stormy council meeting two weeks ago at which a report on the Jackson case was debated.

The report stated that, under cross-examination, Gardiner had admitted that his statement in support of Jackson had been drafted for him by a defence lawyer.

Among those who condemned his action were Peter Langard, David Leonard, Ken Duncan and David Bishop, the KPMG partner whose proposals for unification of the profession collapsed six years go. They argued, that as president, Gardiner should be the embodiment of the association’s disciplinary process but had appeared to undermine it in the Jackson case.

Gardiner’s supporters said the Jackson case was a pretext to remove an incoming president committed to reform. One insider said: ‘He has long been known to have views which are not necessarily accepted by a group within ACCA, such as on the current balance between the council and chief executive.’

Gardiner is believed to have wanted to table proposals to restrict the powers of the chief executive while also addressing what he sees as a lack of experience among some council members.

It is understood that a final decision on the succession will be taken before the formal annual general meeting later today. This will be followed by a second meeting to elect the president, deputy president and vice-president. Three or four people are being questioned about their availability.

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