Sir Peter Vardy settles creationist libel action

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North East businessman Sir Peter Vardy has accepted a donation to charity as settlement of his libel action over a claim his schools taught creationism.

He brought proceedings in London's High Court against Tribune magazine.

The Vardy Foundation sponsors three schools in the north-east of England and one in Doncaster.

Sir Peter said he had been "saddled with this unwarranted and wholly untrue 'creationist' label".

Sir Peter's solicitor Jonathan Coad said that in October 2009 Tribune published an article which said the foundation was imposing fundamentalist beliefs on children.

'Orthodox syllabus'

Mr Coad said none of the allegations were correct.

He said: "The schools sponsored by the Vardy Foundation teach an entirely orthodox syllabus, including its science teaching."

He said Sir Peter had specifically requested that Ofsted inspectors looked for creationism anywhere on the curriculum and they found no evidence of creationist teaching.

He said both Tribune Publications 2009 Ltd and magazine editor Chris McLaughlin now accepted the allegations were untrue and had apologised and paid a sum by way of damages to a charity chosen by Sir Peter.

They also accepted Sir Peter was not a creationist nor had sought to advance the teaching of creationism.

Eloise Power, counsel for the magazine and Mr McLaughlin, said the magazine accepted the aims of both Sir Peter and the foundation were to promote the education of underprivileged children and the schools were not sponsored for any other reason.

In a statement, Sir Peter who was knighted for services to education, said: "I have been saddled with this unwarranted and wholly untrue 'creationist' label for many years.

"I felt forced to take this action in the High Court of Justice to set the record straight and finally lay the matter to rest."

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