This is a retraction. A year ago we posted UK’s Knighted Creationist Used Car Dealer. We wrote that in reliance on something we found at a UK website which said:
Christian used car salesman Sir Peter Vardy, whose state-funded academies teach creationism …
Now we’ve come across something in the British press that totally contradicts our earlier information. In the East Lothian News of Dalkeith, a town in Scotland, we read Sir Peter Vardy settles libel action. Here are some excerpts:
Durham-born businessman Sir Peter Vardy has accepted a donation to charity in settlement of his libel action over a claim that his schools taught creationism.
Sir Peter, knighted in 2001 for services to education, brought proceedings in London’s High Court against the publisher of the Tribune magazine and its editor Chris McLaughlin.
Our information came from a different and slightly later source, but perhaps the Tribune was the originator of the tale. Anyway, it appears that what we posted last year was based on false information. We shouldn’t have relied on a foreign source with which we had no familiarity. Let’s read on:
Mr Coad [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, who were being taught in biology lessons that evolution was as much a “theory” as creationism and that everything was designed by a God creator as stated literally in Genesis.
None of these allegations was correct, said the lawyer, who added that the schools founded by the Foundation were not faith schools, let alone ones which advocated creationism.
So there you are. Our humble blog was misled by incorrect information, and we unwittingly helped to spread that misinformation. We retract everything we said that was unfavorable to Sir Peter.
There’s still more in the East Lothian News that further emphasizes how wrong the earlier accusations were, so if you have doubts, click over there and read the whole article.
In case you’re wondering — no, we haven’t heard from any lawyers in the UK complaining about our earlier blog post, and Sir Peter is probably unaware of us. But even if we didn’t trouble him, it greatly bothers us to have written something so wrong.
We’re very sorry, Sir Peter.
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