More than a dozen police officers from the same unit are under investigation over a WhatsApp group that allegedly contained Islamophobic and misogynistic comments.

All but two of the 14 officers, who work in Camden and Islington as part of the Met's Central North Basic Command Unit, have now been placed on desk duties.

It is alleged that one of the officers in the WhatsApp group sent “inappropriate messages” to the chat, including Islamophobic and misogynistic comments.

These were allegedly supported by others in the group, with one officer challenging them before leaving the group.

The messages were only reported after another officer who was invited into the chat sounded the alarm.

The Metropolitan Police have described the allegations as “serious”, and said an investigation was launched as soon as the messages came to light on February 14.

Five days later, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) decided that the matter required “independent oversight”.

The watchdog will now decide whether disciplinary action should be taken, or criminal charges considered, once the probe has concluded.

Commander Owain Richards, who is in charge of front line policing in Islington and Camden, said: “Discriminatory language of any kind will not be tolerated, and action will be taken against any officer where the investigation establishes evidence of wrongdoing.”

One of the 14 officers was already in a non-public facing role, and another has not been placed on restricted duties.