Solicitor UnderInvestigationfor Promoting False Racism Claim Against Teacher

Akhmed Yakoob, a solicitor and aspiring politician, is under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for promoting a false claim of racism against a teacher on social media. The video, which was later revealed to be misleading, led to hate and death threats against the teacher and her school.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Solicitor UnderInvestigationfor Promoting False Racism Claim Against Teacher

Solicitor UnderInvestigationfor Promoting False Racism Claim Against Teacher

Akhmed Yakoob, a solicitor and aspiring politician, is facing an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for promoting a false claim, fake, video of racism against a 27-year-old teacher on social media. The incident, which occurred on May 2, 2024, involved a video shared by Yakoob that falsely accused the teacher of using a racist slur while delivering leaflets in Dudley, West Midlands.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the dangers of misinformation and its potential to cause harm to innocent individuals and organizations. It also underscores the need for professionals, especially those in positions of influence, to verify information before sharing it on social media to prevent the spread of false claims and hate speech.

The video, which was later revealed to be misleading, showed the teacher saying "I couldn't understand" and the number "90" to her colleague. However, captions overlaid on the video falsely claimed she said a racist slur. Yakoob shared the teacher's name and the school where she worked, leading to a backlash of hate and death threats against the teacher and her school.

West Midlands Police confirmed that there was "no evidence of a racist slur or racist language" in the content. The SRA is now investigating Yakoob's use of his social media profile to promote the false claim and his role in circulating the details of the individual and organization that received abuse and threats.

The SRA has the power to fine solicitors up to £25,000 and can refer cases to the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), which has unlimited fining powers and the ultimate sanction of striking a solicitor off the roll. Yakoob issued a statement saying, "I understand this matter is being investigated so until the outcome of the investigation I will not be making any comment. Suffice to say the video has been taken down from all my platforms in view of the denials."

Akhmed Yakoob rose to prominence after securing more than 69,000 votes when standing for Mayor of the West Midlands on a pro-Palestine platform, endorsed by Rochdale MP George Galloway, leader of the Workers' Party. He has announced his intention to challenge Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood in the future.

The SRA's investigation into Akhmed Yakoob's promotion of a false racism claim against a teacher highlights the serious consequences that can result from the misuse of social media by professionals. The incident led to unwarranted abuse and threats directed at an innocent individual and organization, underscoring the importance of responsible and accurate communication in the public sphere.