09 September 2018

Payout for ex-scout leader after niqab Darth Vader row

A scout leader who was expelled from the movement for comparing a colleague canoeing in a niqab to Darth Vader has accepted an out-of-court settlement.

Brian Walker, 62, wrote to the Scout's magazine saying a leader taking girls canoeing in a niqab would "most likely drown" wearing "that Darth Vader tent".

Mr Walker, who took legal action against the scouts, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement.

The Scout Association said the settlement does not imply he was right.

Mr Walker was immediately dismissed by the scout's district commissioner for Bristol South after writing to the association's official magazine in March 2017.

In his letter, which was unpublished, he wrote: "Canoeists don't dress like that.

"They need all round unobstructed vision so they protect the group, and of course they will most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent."

He also criticised the association for "promoting political correctness and interfaith issues" with a visit to a mosque but then advising using a non-religious venue for the St George's Day service. [BBC] Read more