Journalist wins rectorship of Edinburgh University

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JOURNALIST Iain Macwhirter was last night voted in as the next rector of Edinburgh University.

Mr Macwhirter beat Labour MSP George Foulkes to fill the three-year post, taking 69 per cent of the vote.

Thousands of students took part in the ballot to elect the university's 50th rector.

Respect MP George Galloway pulled out of the race last week citing the pressures of work and urged students to back Mr Macwhirter, who has worked with The Scotsman.

Mr Macwhirter said: "I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to take an active involvement in the university and look to ensure the interests of both staff and students are maintained."

The election marks 150 years since William Gladstone first took up the post as rector at the university.

Prime ministers Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin and Gordon Brown are among those to have held the post.

Mr Macwhirter takes the chair from the former Green MSP Mark Ballard.

He will be installed during a ceremony next month.