Election row teacher was not racist - police

A teacher embroiled in a race row with a mayoral candidate did not use a highly offensive racist slur while canvassing for Labour, police say.

Independent candidate Akhmed Yakoob took to social media to accuse the teacher, who works at a Wednesbury school, of making a racist remark.

Reacting to the subtitled doorbell footage, Mr Yakoob alleged the worker, who has since received death threats, had made the comment after asking a Dudley resident about their voting intentions.

The Labour Party has since said the video Mr Yakoob shared had been manipulated, while he has urged the party to share its findings with him.

The BBC understands Labour officials sought independent expert analysis of the audio recording and concluded the subtitles containing the racist slur were unlikely to be an accurate representation of what was said.

Responding to the news, Mr Yakoob said: "In light of the Labour Party claims that the footage maybe suspect, we encourage the party to share their findings with us.

"We take this very seriously and are investigating this ourselves."

Akhmed Yakoob
Akhmed Yakoob posted the video on social media before later deleting it [Akhmed Yakoob]

West Midlands Police has also carried out its own investigation and has now said the original audio of the video has been examined closely.

"The canvasser has received significant abuse as a result of the footage being released on social media, which is distressing," the force said in a statement.

"She has been fully updated regarding our findings and offered our support."

The teacher - who has not been named - was canvassing with Labour councillor for Dudley, Qasim Mughal, who has called on Mr Yakoob to "apologise for attempting to destroy someone's career".

"He has done irreparable damage to a completely innocent young lady and he needs to understand the severity of what he has done," Mr Mughal said.

He described the woman as a colleague who had respect for every single student in her care.

Her local community has been misled by the video, which caused the teacher to receive death threats along with abusive messages, Mr Mughal added.

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