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UK science minister apologises and pays damages after academic's libel action  The Guardian |

Michelle Donelan, the science minister, has apologised and paid damages after accusing two academics of "sharing extremist views" and one of them of supporting Hamas.

In a statement posted on X, the secretary of state for science, innovation and technology said she had deleted a tweet and letter published last year, and accepted what she termed a "clarification" from one of the academics, Prof Kate Sang at Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh.

Sang launched a libel action against Donelan after the minister published a letter to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which urged it to cut links with Sang and another academic, Dr Kamna Patel of University College London. Donelan had described her "disgust and outrage" at their appointment to an expert advisory group to Research England on equality, diversity and inclusion.

UKRI is the umbrella agency responsible for channelling £3bn in higher education research funding, including to Research England. The institute suspended Sang and Patel while it carried out an investigation into Donelan's allegations, which appear to have been triggered by a report by Policy Exchange.

A DSIT spokesperson said, "A sum of £15,000 was paid without admitting any liability," and that this was based on "established precedent"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 6th, 2024 at 11:08:50 PM EST

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