According to domestic abuse campaigners, the strip search of a Black schoolgirl was "sexual assault". The CEO of charity Sistah Space, Ngozi Fulani, said: "Everybody involved" should face charges.

The 15-year-old was pulled out of an exam for the search, which has also been condemned by Hackney MP Diane Abbott, as racist.

The Met Police has since apologised for the incident at a Hackney secondary school.

Teachers called the Met Police after wrongly suspecting her of carrying cannabis in 2020. A safeguarding report found the search, without another adult present, was unjustified and racism "likely" a factor.

Ms Fulani said: "This is child abuse, this is sexual assault. There are so many things wrapped up in this and they're not going to put this in a tidy box and make it go away."

Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbot said that the strip search made her feel sick as a mother, and that racism absolutely played a part. "The Met Police is not going into private schools and asking white girls to spread their buttock cheeks," she said.

The report states that in 2020-2021, there were 25 searches of under-18s in the same borough. "Only two of those 25 under-18 searches were white, the figures tell you this is about race," Ms Abbot added.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that the officers should face gross misconduct charges. A safeguarding report found that racism was likely to have been an influencing factor in the decision to carry out the traumatic search in 2020 at the girl's school, without another adult present.

It said teachers called police to the 15-year-old's school, where they conducted the strip search in which her intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to remove a sanitary towel. Mr Khan wrote to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after reading the report with dismay and disgust.

He wrote: "I understand that in line with statutory guidance, allegations of discrimination would normally be considered at the level of gross misconduct rather than misconduct." Mr Khan said the sole reason for the search was the smell of cannabis, which had previously been addressed by the IOPC, the College of Policing and City Hall's Action Plan, published in November 2020.

During the incident, the girl was taken to the school's medical room and strip-searched by two female Met police officers, while teachers remained outside. Her parents were not contacted.

Her intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to take off her sanitary towel, according to the review. No drugs were found.

The victim - referred to as Child Q - told the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review: "On top of preparing for the most important exams of my life, I can't go a single day without wanting to scream, shout, cry or just give up."

The girl's maternal aunt was quoted as saying the pupil had changed from "top of the class" to "a shell of her former bubbly self", adding she was "now self-harming and requires therapy".

Children's Commissioner Rachel De Souza said she wanted to speak to the victim to "stop this happening ever again", and has also written to the Met, adding "sorry means behaviour has to change". Scotland Yard said that the search should never have happened and an investigation had now been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Det Supt Dan Rutland, of the Met's Central East Command, said: "We recognise that the findings of the safeguarding review reflect this incident should never have happened.” He apologised on behalf of the Met Police to the child, her family and the wider community, and said that it was wholly right that the actions of officers are held to account.