God's gift to a fading fashion house

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The Independent Online
LAURA ASHLEY has had a few high profile directors in its time but few have been as colourful as "Pat" Robertson, who was announced as a non-executive of the struggling retailer yesterday.

Marion Gordon Robertson, nicknamed "Pat", is a TV evangelist, philanthropist and businessman who unsuccessfully challenged George Bush for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1988.

A noted media pioneer, he is the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network. He is also the founder of the Family Channel, a US TV channel and the Regent University in Virginia.

His Christian Broadcast Network runs a web sitecalled The 700 club with Pat Robertson Yesterday its lead issue was "America's Moral Crisis".

This said that "one of the largest moral crises we face in America is the proliferation of tolerance for immoral sexual behaviour. This is evident everywhere we turn - premarital sex, marital infidelity, homosexuality ..."

Laura Ashley directors said that Mr Robertson did not have any direct retail experience but that this would not necessarily be a problem.

"He is an incredibly successful businessman both in the US and internationally," the company said. "He has terrific business acumen and will be a great asset."

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