The Northern-Ireland born president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has stepped down from his post amid fears a woman claiming to be his mistress would reveal embarrassing details of an affair, according to a report carried in the Sunday Times.
The newspaper reported that Alan Jones, who is a professor of architecture at Queen's University, is to temporarily stand aside from his RIBA presidency after informing the institute that "a matter had arisen" in his personal life.
Mr Jones (55) is married to Laura (54), a dentist.
The couple have two children and live in a house designed by Mr Jones in Randalstown, Co Antrim, where he has his own practice.
A friend of Professor Jones, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper: "Alan is a religious man and is working on saving his marriage.
"There was a relationship which ended and he believed that the other person involved might make details of that relationship public.
"The woman involved is not an architect and the institute has not received any complaint from any member or member of the public.
"Alan acknowledges that there was a potential for harm to the reputation of the institute so wanted to inform the council."
Kerr Robertson, who is the institute's honorary secretary, confirmed that Professor Jones had temporarily stepped back from his role.
He said in a statement: "Alan Jones has brought a sensitive matter to our attention which we are investigating and, in line with regulations, we have informed the Charity Commission.
"It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."
Mr Jones was elected president of the RIBA in September last year.
RIBA presidents normally serve for two years. He is the RIBA's 78th president and the first from here.
The award-winning architect and academic has championed social mobility within the architecture profession.
Professor Jones has won seven RIBA awards and has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize, an award for excellence in architecture, for which he is a judge this year.
Mr Jones has been in the post for seven months after beating Elsie Owusu (67), a Ghana-born British architect, a founding member and the first chairman of the Society of Black Architects.