University of Exeter

Now two students in the racist Exeter group chat have been fired by their law firms

One firm said they were ‘deeply disturbed’ by the messages

Two of the students involved in the racist Exeter University group chat have been dropped by their employers.

Matthew Bell had his offer of graduate employment from Hill Dickinson LLP revoked earlier today.

Now, RPC, a law firm for whom Alex Crawford was a Brand Ambassador, (employed through a third party, On Campus Promotions) have confirmed to The Tab that they have terminated their involvement with him.

Matthew was set to join Hill Dickinson LLP law firm in September 2019 as part of their graduate programme, but the firm have made it clear that this will not happen now.

In a Facebook post this morning the firm distanced themselves from the comments made by the group:

Bell was one of the main instigators in the chat and often used the most vulgar and derogatory language in the group. He regularly used homophobic, racist and sexist using language such as: "rape is funny", "gay marriage should be illegal", and "blacks are useless tree ornaments".

The Tab Exeter spoke to Hill Dickinson LLP who gave this statement from CEO, Peter Jackson: "Following serious allegations made against an individual who was due to join the firm in September 2019, we have now spoken to the individual and revoked his offer of employment.

"We are deeply disturbed by the messages that were brought to our attention last night and would like to stress that the views expressed by the individual and others involved in this matter do not in any way represent the views of the firm and we absolutely do not condone this behaviour."

After speaking to RPC, a law firm who Alex Crawford was recruited as a Brand Ambassador through a third party agency, On Campus Promotions, The Tab can confirm they have terminated their involvement with him.

In a statement they said: "We are absolutely appalled by what we have read this morning, and condemn this sort of behaviour in the strongest possible terms. It is indefensible, vile, and has no place in any society.

"Despite the fact this individual was never an employee of RPC we, of course, treat the situation as seriously as if he was – it goes wholly against everything we stand for.

"We can confirm that we are no longer working with him in any capacity. We have also decided to terminate our Brand Ambassador agreement with the agency who employed him with immediate effect."

Update: Ash Chandraharan has had his employment with Explore Learning terminated. They told The Tab Exeter: “Explore Learning have been investigating this matter and as a result the individual concerned is no longer an employee.

"We want to stress that the behaviour and actions of those involved are in stark contrast to the values of Explore Learning.”

This news comes after Bracton Law Society also made the decision last night to remove the students accused of making the racist remarks from the society and they are not allowing them to stand in the upcoming elections.

The students have also been suspended by the university while the investigation is ongoing and The Tab has exclusively named and pictured all five members.

Update: Matthew Bell has now released an apology for the messages he sent in the chat.

If you have experienced racism at Exeter University please contact annabel@thetab.com and we will contact you.

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