Palestinian candidate to battle Labour’s Wes Streeting in Ilford North

Leanne Mohamad, Instagram | @LeanneMohamad

The Redbridge Community Action Group (RCAG) has selected Leanne Mohamad, a British-Palestinian Muslim, to contest Labour’s Wes Streeting Ilford North seat in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Leanne Mohamad secured her candidacy after winning the vote among RCAG members, standing out among three prospective candidates.

Mohamad was up against Noorjahan Begum and ⁠Marwan Elfallah, with Begum coming in second behind Mohamad.

According to eyewitnesses at the hustings, some 200 residents elected Mohamad to stand as a candidate.

Streeting, who currently serves as the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, sparked controversy over several Gaza-related comments he’s made since October 7.

Outrage was initially sparked after the Shadow Secretary criticised pro-Palestine demonstrations during an LBC Radio interview in October, suggesting now is the time for “quiet diplomacy, not megaphone diplomacy.”

On November 5, hundreds of locals gathered outside Streeting’s Ilford North office condemning Labour for their pro-Israel stance.

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Around the same time, hundreds of students humiliated Streeting by staging a mass walkout of an assembly with Streeting over Labour’s stance on Gaza.

According to Novara Media, around 300 teenagers at Beal High School in Ilford, East London, either refused to attend or walked out of the assembly on November 3.

Labour appears to be facing big challenges in East London, particularly Redbridge, which covers Ilford North and Ilford South constituencies.

Wes Streeting. Editorial credit: Martin Suker /

Neighbouring Tower Hamlets is already run by Lutfur Rahman’s Aspire party after a landslide in the last council and mayoral elections.

And in neighbouring Newham, independent Muslim candidate Sophia Naqvi won a strong victory against Labour to win the Plaistow North by-election, giving the Independents their third councillor in the East End borough.

Mrs Naqvi resigned from the Labour Party over their stance on Palestine in October and stands as part of Newham Independents group.

Following the news of Leanne Mohamad’s hustings win, Misses Naqvi took to X to express her support: “I wholeheartedly support and stand behind Leanne Mohamad. Your unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of the community and dedication to raising the voices of the masses sets you apart as the ideal candidate for Ilford North. Congratulations and good luck!”

Streeting is seen by many pro-Palestine activists as a mouthpiece for Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on Israel’s genocide.

Starmer has angered many UK Muslims over Labour’s support for Israel’s “right to defend itself,” while also refusing to call for a ceasefire and appearing to endorse Israel’s barbaric military bombardment and collective punishment of Palestinian civilians.

In a recent interview with Sky News, Streeting referred to South Africa’s genocide case against Israel as a “distraction,” while elsewhere echoing Labour’s support for UK military attacks on Yemen.

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