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People and Business: Questioner

PREM SIKKA, the maverick accountancy professor from Essex University, failed yet again to get elected to the council of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants - and ACCA was delighted.

As a spokesman for ACCA said yesterday, following the association's annual general meeting: "Prem has been seeking election since the beginning of the 1990s when he got 31 per cent of the poll. This year he got 16 per cent."

The ACCA authorities, led by chief executive Anthea Rose, have been needled over Professor Sikka's persistent criticisms and questions over the way the organisation is run. The ACCA spokesman said: "We think members have got pretty bored with his questions at agms. They're always the same."

Yesterday the plucky professor asked the agm how Ms Rose could justify getting the ACCA to pay for her husband's air fare when he accompanied her on public business around the world (ACCA has 66,000 members in 150 countries). ACCA brushed this off as "perfectly normal corporate practice."

Despite this setback, I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Professor Sikka.