The head of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers has resigned after the publication of a report sponsored by his firm that recommended the use of a type of door handles that it makes
Michael Turner's resignation comes after some members of the guild said the president ought to step down from his office because of an alleged conflict of interest. Turner is the managing director of Turnquest, the company that paid for the research, which was carried out by the University of Reading.

The university team suggested that the best way to meet the requirements of Part M of the building regulations, which covers access for people, including those with disabilities, was to use coloured door handles. It said this would help the visually impaired as they were easier to pick out than reflective steel door handles.

The latest edition of Part M, which came into force in October, says architectural ironmongery ought to have colour and luminance contrast to the door.

Some guild members claimed that Turner's position, as the boss of a firm that manufactured coloured nylon door handles, was untenable as he would not be able to represent stainless steel hardware manufacturers.

The research is independent and carried out by academics. We’re standing by it

Mike Turner, Turnquest managing director

Turner said: "The research is independent and carried out by academics. We're standing by it." He noted that the researchers did recommend the use of some stainless steel door handles that were not coloured.

He also accused some door furniture makers of not facing the challenges of Part M.

Turner was elected as president in June 2003 for two years. He has been replaced by the vice-president of the guild, Arthur Taylor, commercial director of Hoppe, a manufacturer of metal door handles. Taylor will continue as acting president until the guild's annual general meeting in June, when an election will take place.