Deepfake audio of Sadiq Khan is not a criminal offence, Met Police says

Politics

Deepfake audio of Sadiq Khan that has circulated on social media “does not constitute a criminal offence”, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The digitally generated audio, using the London mayor’s voice and mannerisms, purports to be a recording of him playing down the importance of Remembrance weekend commemorations.

A spokesman for the mayor said the Met Police was “aware of this fake video that is being circulated and amplified on social media by far-right groups, and are actively investigating”.

Follow latest: Hundreds of thousands join pro-Palestinian march in London

But in a statement to Sky News, a Met Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we were made aware of a video featuring artificial audio of the mayor.

“Specialist officers have reviewed this video and assessed that it does not constitute a criminal offence.”

In the clip, a voice similar to Mr Khan can be heard saying: “I don’t give a flying s*** about the Remembrance weekend.”

The voice in the fake recording adds: “What’s important and paramount is the one million-man Palestinian march takes place on Saturday.”

That is a reference to the Million March in 1965 – a civil rights protest in Washington DC attended overwhelmingly by people of colour.

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Thousands gather for pro-Palestinian march

It was feared the clip would further inflame tensions as hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in London on Armistice Day.

Far-right counter-protesters have clashed with police on Saturday, with dozens of arrests made.

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A political row erupted ahead of Saturday’s protests after Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote an article accusing the police of “playing favourites” when they resisted pressure to ban the march calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Mr Khan has said the far-right disorder was a “direct result” of Ms Braverman’s comments.

The mayor added: “The police’s job has been made much harder. The Met have my full support to take action against anyone found spreading hate and breaking the law.”

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