Launce Morgan, RICS construction faculty chairman, resigns after labelling the body’s management ‘arrogant’

Launce Morgan, the chair of the RICS’ construction faculty, has resigned from his post and from his job with QS Northcroft after his attack on RICS last week.

Morgan claimed that the RICS was “overstaffed, overly bureaucratic and undemocratic”. He described its management as “arrogant”, and said chief executive Louis Armstrong had failed the 40,000 members of the construction faculty.

He then issued a contrite statement on Monday. He said: “This has not been an easy 17 months in office and my actions last week have not made my position any easier. On reflection on my statement last week, I believe I have caused an injustice to the chief executive and should have made no reference to his position.

“I have therefore made a sincere and full apology to the chief executive and withdrawn entirely these comments.

“I have also reiterated that apology to QS News and Building, the only sources to which it was copied.”

Rob Mahoney, the chair of the RICS’ Faculties and Forums Board, said in a statement to the institute’s annual meeting this week that Morgan’s comments had been “factually inaccurate and had been made in a personal capacity”.

In his statement, Morgan added: “The support from members has been overwhelming and I believe that they now see there is a faculty that appreciates their problems. Also the publicity has ensured that they cannot be ignored by the RICS.”

The reaction to Morgan’s statement among QSs was mixed. One senior QS said: Plainly he’s reflecting some frustrations and it’s a bit of a strong reaction from Northcroft but the RICS is our organisation and it’s easier to make a difference from inside.”

But John Connaughton, a partner at Davis Langdon, said Morgan’s resignation was excessive.

Northcroft chairman Mark Van Den Berg said he had offered his resignation after signing himself as a director of Northcroft. He said: “Northcroft had no prior knowledge and does not endorse the comments made. When it was pointed out that he had not cleared this with anyone, he offered his resignation. It was the honourable thing to do.”