GENERAL ELECTION: Streeting scrapes through before being appointed Health Secretary

Wes Streeting scraped to victory as the Labour MP for Ilford North, after facing fierce competition from an independent candidate.

Later in the day he was appointed to the position of Health Secretary in Prime Minister Kier Starmer’s first cabinet.

Mr Streeting, first elected to the seat in 2015, was declared the victor at around 4.20am on July 5 with a slim majority.

He received 15,647 votes, just 538 more than independent candidate Leanne Mohamad.

That is 51 fewer votes than his narrow victory in 2015, which saw him succeed Conservative Lee Scott amid a national night of triumph for the Tories.

Independent Mohamad, who is British-Palestinian, led a heavy campaign against Mr Streeting over Labour’s stance on the Israel-Hamas war. She left the Labour Party last year after leader Keir Starmer said in a radio interview that Israel had the right to withhold water and electricity from Gaza.

Polling had initially predicted he would increase his share of the vote, but Ms Mohamad was proved right in her belief it was a two-horse race.

Voter turnout in the constituency was 59.76%, with a total of 47,008 ballots cast.

Mr Streeting acknowledged how Labour’s controversial stance on Gaza had damaged the party’s reputation, saying: “I know Labour has lost trust and support over Gaza.”

Calling for a ‘two-state solution’, he said people “cannot claim to support the interests of the Palestinian people” when they “celebrated Hamas’ barbarism”.

Nor can people claim to support “Israel’s security” by thinking the answer is “piling up the bodies of innocent Palestinian civilians through aerial bombardment,” he said.

Ms Mohamad said she decided to stand against Mr Streeting after he abstained from a vote calling for a ceasefire last November.

Now in his ninth year as an MP, Streeting said he would not “forget his roots,” adding: “I have never forgotten who sends me to parliament or whose interests I am here to serve.”

Looking ahead, the four-time MP said his priority would be helping junior doctors, and told the press his “first phone call” would be to the British Medical Association.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he would also “make sure” Whipps Cross Hospital would be rebuilt. The hospital was slated to be rebuilt by 2030, but various delays and funding issues have meant that is now unlikely.

When asked about overcrowding in east London hospitals, he said he would also ensure hospitals across the NHS followed in the footsteps of the King George Hospital to cut waiting lists.

He had earlier rejected the notion that he would further privatise the NHS.

The full list of candidates and their share of the vote can be found below:

  • Wes Streeting (Labour) – 15,647
  • Leanne Mohamad (Independent) – 15,119
  • Kaz Rizvi (Conservative) – 9,618
  • Alex Wilson (Reform UK) – 3,621
  • Rachel Collinson (Green) – 1,764
  • Fraser Coppin (Lib Dem) – 1,088

Sebastian Mann

Local democracy reporter