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Charity apologises to comic

The lesbian comedienne Sandi Toksvig yesterday received a public apology from the charity Save the Children after being dropped from its 75th anniversary celebrations.

Ms Toksvig, 36, had been due to compere a meeting earlier this month attended by the Princess Royal and 2,000 charity supporters. But she was asked to withdraw at the last moment after it was revealed that she was acting as a parent to three children. Her partner, Peta Stewart, gave birth to the children after receiving artificial insemination, using a friend as donor.

The decision to ask Ms Toksvig to withdraw from the celebrations was taken by the charity's council of 17 fund- raising trustees. It prompted a protest at the meeting by lesbian rights supporters.

Save the Children said at the time her appearance 'might distract from the events of the day'. But the charity yesterday apologised and said its decision had been wrong - and counter to its policy of non-discrimination.