Landslide for Kennedy in university rector election

CHARLES Kennedy, the Liberal Democrats' former leader, was last night elected as rector for Glasgow University by a landslide majority.

Mr Kennedy, who is a former president of Glasgow University Union, won the ballot by a margin of almost two to one over his nearest rival.

He received 2,374 votes in the first round and 2,605 in the second, compared with the high-profile lawyer Aamer Anwar, who received 1,261 and 1,414 votes respectively.

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Other nominees were writer and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Koli and Patrick Harvie, the Green Party MSP for Glasgow.

Mr Kennedy will be officially installed as the university's rector – succeeding Mordechai Vanunu, the technician who spent 18 years in prison after exposing details of Israel's nuclear weapons programme – on 10 April.

The rector is elected by the students of the university and not only represents the students but is also the chairman of the University Court, the body that administers the resources of the university.

During his three-year tenure as rector, Mr Kennedy will not be active in university policy-making, as the role is principally as spokesman and representative for student issues.

Before his win, Mr Kennedy, who is MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said he was "delighted" to have been nominated.

He added: "I am proud to have been a student at Glasgow University and have very fond memories of both the university and of the city."