In Brief

Exeter University law students expelled over racist WhatsApp messages

Screenshots of group’s ‘bigoted’ comments were leaked on social media

The University of Exeter has expelled a group of law students accused of writing racist messages in a private WhatsApp group conversation.

According to The Guardian, members of the Bracton Law Society left a series of offensive comments “including racial epithets” and messages such as “if you ain’t English, go home”, “bomb the mosques” and “we need a race war”. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was described as a “cancer”.

The comments were made public in March when law student Arsalan Motavali - who set up the so-called Dodgy Blokes Soc group - shared screenshots of some of the messages online, prompting an internal investigation by the university.

One of the students involved immediately issued a “sincere apology for his inexcusable comments”, the BBC reports. The student added: “I will not attempt to excuse and deny any of the statements I have made. The comments, which I shall not repeat, are inexcusable and undeniably wrong.

“I would like to make it publicly known that I do not honestly believe any of the things I have said.”

A spokesperson for the university announced this morning that the investigation, carried out in conjunction with the Students’ Guild, “has now concluded, and the outcomes have included expulsions, suspensions and other significant sanctions. These outcomes are subject to appeal.”

It is unclear how many students have been expelled.

The university’s vice chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, added that there was “no place” at the institution for “unacceptable racist, sexist and bigoted behaviour”.

The expulsions “show our absolute commitment to take serious action against those whose behaviour is fundamentally at odds with the commitment to inclusivity, tolerance and respect that lies at the heart of everything we stand for”, he said.

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