The Sun apologises and pays substantial damages over false ‘Trojan Horse’ plot allegation

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The Sun has apologised and agreed to pay substantial damages to Nasim Ashraf and Hafizan Zaman over an article that falsely alleged that they were involved in a “Trojan Horse” plot

Rahman Lowe Solicitors successfully represented Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman with their defamation claim against The Sun.

The Sun published a number of articles which falsely alleged that the couple were involved in a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to take over Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham. The former Editor of The Sun, Kelvin McKenzie alleged that the plot involved a separatist agenda, violence and that the couple told staff to wear the veil.

The Sun has now acknowledged that the allegations were, and are completely unfounded, and has published a full apology today, both in its print edition and online, confirming that Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman “were not involved in any alleged Trojan Horse plot”.

The allegations were said to be supported by a leaked report from Oldham Council.  In fact, Mr Ashraf was described by a headteacher at another school as a model parent and that the Council’s experience of Mr Ashraf was of an individual who is very active within the faith communities of Oldham. Contrary to the allegations made by The Sun, the report confirmed that he is not an “extremist”. Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman are both active members of their local community and they promote inter-faith understanding.

Speaking today, Mr Ashraf said:

“Hafizan and I are pleased that the Sun has agreed to set the record straight by apologising and making clear that the allegations reported in the articles are untrue and wholly without foundation.  The agreement to pay substantial damages and legal costs reflects the gravity of the allegations that were made against us. 

We are living in times where anti-Muslim hate and discrimination are increasing day by day and the Muslim community is constantly on the receiving end of false allegations. Unfortunately, the media has played a role in this which in turn only serves the interests of the far right, neo conservatives and those that wish to create division, rather than mutual respect and unity within our diverse communities in the UK”.  

Please click here to view the apology.

Zillur Rahman of Rahman Lowe Solicitors and Mark Henderson of Doughty Street Chambers acted for the Claimants in this case.

Our extensive experience of acting in high profile discrimination cases means that we are particularly well placed to advise clients whose case may reach the public eye, and to advise on associated matters such as reputation management.

For further information or to discuss a potential claim, please contact us on 0207 956 8699 or We are ranked as a ‘Leading Firm’ in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners independent guides to the UK Legal Profession.