A group of law students have been suspended from the University of Exeter over allegations of racism.
It comes after “vile” comments made by a group of law society members on WhatsApp were revealed by a student and shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook.
Police have been informed and “full disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate,” the university said.
One student issued a “sincere apology for his inexcusable comments”.
Matthew Bell said: “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.”
The university said it “does not tolerate any form of racist behaviour”.
The Students’ Guild said it was involved in the investigation into “a small number of Bracton Law Society (BLS) committee members” and “the individuals in question have had their membership suspended”.
A spokesman said: “The named students have had their BLS committee positions removed and all society activity has also been suspended until the end of this week while we establish the full extent and nature of the issue.”
BLS said racist views “do not in any way whatsoever represent the society or its ethos”.
Some students said on social media that they were “sickened” and “disgusted” at the news.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “Police are aware of this incident and are liaising with staff at the University of Exeter.”