Eton College has stood up for its decision to sack an English teacher who posted a provocative lecture video questioning “current radical feminist orthodoxy”.

English teacher Will Knowland was sacked over his film "The Patriarchy Paradox” that he was stopped from using in class but  subsequently posted on his YouTube channel.

More than 2,000 people have since signed a petition demanding that Mr Knowland be reinstated.

Hundreds of people have donated more than £44,000 to enable the father-of-five  to challenge his dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Lord Waldegrave, the provost of Eton, has said two barristers found that the lecture, which Mr Knowland allegedly refused to take down six times, broke equality law and regulations for independent schools.

Lord Waldegrave denied accusations that the school censored debate over the topic claiming the issue was over “internal discipline”.

He told the Daily Mail: “Eton now, as in the past, is a school which prides itself on encouraging open-minded, independent and critical thinking.

"Boys are encouraged to think about and discuss challenging topics. Eton will never cancel debate. Everyone accepts, including the teacher concerned, that such freedom cannot be absolute.

"When the head master received complaints about this particular video, there were suggestions that it broke the Equality Act and the Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations.

“An independent barrister was consulted who said, in a written opinion, that this was indeed so.”

Mr Knowland has made clear that he did not endorse all the ideas in his lecture video but “wanted the boys to be made aware of a different point of view to the current radical feminist orthodoxy.”

The teacher's lecture would have been delivered as part of a course taken by older pupils to encourage critical thinking.