The noted businessman and multi-millionaire Sir Peter Vardy has launched a lawsuit against the editors of Tribune magazine, over what he calls a defamatory article they printed about him in October 2009.
Vardy alleges that in the article – headlined ‘Creationist Claptrap that Beggars Belief’- he is painted to be a devout creationist who sponsors state schools for the main purpose of imposing Christian fundamentalist views on impressionable pupils.
He states an example from the article in the lawsuit, which reads as follows:
“By virtue of donating £2m to the £22m it costs the taxpayer to build an academy, the Vardy Foundation can impose its fundamentalist beliefs on children through the science curriculum.”
As part of the Vardy Foundation, Sir Peter sponsors four schools in the UK. These include Bede Academy in Northumberland, King’s Academy in Middlesbrough, Emmanuel College in Gateshead and Trinity Academy in South Yorkshire.
Vardy has battled accusations that he is a creationist for years, but the Tribune Magazine article seems to be the final straw for the philanthropist. He is pursuing the publication and its editor Chris McLaughlin, for £15,000 in a defamation lawsuit.
If McLaughlin and his legal team lose the case, they will most likely have to pay the injured Sir Vardy compensation using the magazine’s professional indemnity insurance (if a policy covering defamation is in place).