Fake clip of Streeting dismissing ‘dead Palestinians’ circulates on X

Ilford North Labour candidate Wes Streeting says an edited audio clip of him saying he “doesn’t care” about dying Palestinians is “obviously fake”.

The clip, posted on X (formerly Twitter), appeared to show Mrr Streeting being asked about the Israel-Hamas war.

The user claimed the Ilford North candidate swore at him when asked if he cared about “innocent Palestinians being killed”.

A reporter from BBC Verify, which targets misinformation, ascertained it was a “fake, AI-generated clip”. He said it was the second to target the shadow health secretary this election cycle.

Mr Streeting said it was the “latest dirty tactic” being used against him.

He wrote in a tweet: “Another obviously fake audio clip is circulating. I’d call it a deep fake, but it’s so poor that shallow fake is probably more apt.

“Just the latest dirty tactic being deployed against me – and the latest to backfire, too.”

A ‘deepfake’ is a video, image or audio clip that has been augmented by artificial intelligence to appear real. Deepfakes have been made of a variety of politicians, including former US president Donald Trump, and the technology has also been used to doctor pornographic images.

The tweet has been viewed more than 150,000 times since it was uploaded at around midday on Wednesday July 3.

A warning has since been pinned beneath it by X, telling users that it is potentially “manipulated” media.

Posts with identical wording to the original’s also appeared on the social media app, but were uploaded without the clip.

The original poster is relatively active, mainly sharing political opinions and memes – critical of both Labour and Conservatives – about the general election.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) contacted them for comment but did not hear back.

In Ilford North, Mr Streeting is facing a challenge from Independent candidate Leanne Mohamad who left the Labour Party over leader Keir Starmer’s comments last year about Israel’s “right” to cut off the water supply to Gaza after the October 7 attacks.

Mr Streeting’s abstention from a ceasefire vote in November prompted Ms Mohamad to stand as a candidate in his constituency.

Despite abstaining in November, Streeting backed calls for a “sustainable ceasefire” the following month.

He said: “With the death toll in Gaza rising, hostages still held captive and the harrowing images of innocent men, women and children killed, we need a political resolution to this conflict that sees a sustainable ceasefire and a path to a two-state solution.”

The candidates for Ilford North are: Rachel Collinson (Green), Fraser Coppin (Lib Dem), Leanne Mohamad (Ind), Kaz Rizvi (Con), Alex Wilson (Reform UK), Wes Streeting (Lab).

Sebastian Mann

Local democracy reporter