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Monday 17th June 2019

Emmerdale actress Shila Iqbal axed from soap over offensive historic social media posts

Actress Shila Iqbal has been axed from her role in Emmerdale after offensive historic social media posts came to light.

Shila recently joined the ITV soap as a regular character, playing Aiesha Richards, daughter of Manpreet, Rishi's girlfriend.

The 24-year-old posted a series of racist tweets in 2013, when she was 19 and a student.

Shila plays Aiesha in the soap (Credit: ITV)

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Shila deleted her Twitter account when news of the old messages surfaced.

An Emmerdale spokeswoman said: "As a consequence of historic social media posts Shila Iqbal has left her role as Aiesha Richards on Emmerdale.

"The programme took the decision not to renew her contract as soon as these posts were brought to the company's attention."

Apologetic Shila said after the scandal broke: "I am terribly sorry and take full responsibility for my use of such inappropriate language...

The programme took the decision not to renew her contract as soon as these posts were brought to the company's attention.

"I have paid the price and can no longer continue the job I loved the most at Emmerdale.

Aiesha with her mum and Rish (Credit: ITV)

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"Although I was young when I made the tweets, it was still completely wrong of me to do so and I sincerely apologise...

"'The only consideration I would ask is that I have recently received hateful tweets telling me that as a Muslim my Emmerdale role means that I am 'committing sinful acts, promoting sin and deliberately going against the Quran'.

"We live in sensitive times for members of all communities and especially those in multi-racial Rochdale where I grew up...

"I regret that I too have let people down by the use of such language, albeit six years ago.

"I, like everyone else, have a responsibility about the language I have used on social media as well as in conversation."

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