The Social Democrat group of Helsinki council has decided to suspend one of their councilors after he admitted making up a fake racism story.
In a special Monday night meeting, councilors voted to exclude Husu Hussein until the end of June 2020 over his claims in the media that he was subject to racist abuse while driving a taxi, and then dropped the passenger at the side of the road.
Later Hussein admitted he invented that specific incident, but says immigrant-background taxi drivers are the target of regular racist abuse and he wanted to highlight the situation in general.
SDP councilor and MP Evellina Heinäluoma said that Hussein’s lies “and the resulting lack of confidence” were the reason for his dismissal.
Hussein previously apologised for his actions and said he would abide by any decision the SDP council group made.
There are now five lone representative groups in Helsinki City Council including Hussein: the Feminist Party, Pirate Party, Christian Democrats and former Centre Party leader Paavo Väyrynen.
Meanwhile, Hussein’s employer Taksi Helsinki says his story of throwing a passenger out the car is causing reputational damage to the company and they are considering whether to take any action against him.