No evidence audio clip supposedly of Wes Streeting comments about Palestinian deaths is genuine

3 July 2024
What was claimed

An audio recording captures Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting swearing and saying he doesn’t care about Palestinians being killed.

Our verdict

There is no evidence that the clip is genuine, and Mr Streeting has said it is a fake.

An audio clip, widely shared on X (formerly Twitter), supposedly captures Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting swearing and saying he doesn’t care, when asked about Palestinians being killed. The post has thousands of likes and shares and over 823,000 views at the time of writing. 

The audio clip also features in a few other posts on X, and also on Facebook

In the clip, which appears to be of an encounter with traffic noise in the background, a voice asks “don’t you give a damn about innocent Palestinians getting killed?” to which a voice sounding like that of Mr Streeting is heard to reply: “No, I fucking don’t, now fuck off you little c**t.”

There is no evidence that the clip is genuine. 

Mr Streeting has denied the clip is real, posting on X: “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.”

We’ve not been able to determine whether the clip was generated with artificial intelligence, edited in some other way or is of an impersonator, but we’ve not seen any evidence to suggest it is real.

Definitively proving that a non-specific and unattributed audio clip has been faked is difficult. The emergence of this clip and others we’ve previously reported on has exposed the increased challenges of verification posed by new technology and the challenge of ensuring an effective and proportionate response by social media platforms on such content.

We’ve not seen specific clues in the clip itself, such as identifiable background noise or names used (other than “Wes”), which would enable it to be definitively verified or proven a fake. An X account which posted the clip, which was set up in June 2024, said: “NEW. I saw Wes Streeting out on the campaign trail so thought I’d ask him why it took so long for him to support a ceasefire. He told me he doesn’t “fucking care” about innocent Palestinians being killed.” 

The account did not give further specific details about the supposed encounter. We have contacted the account but had not been able to speak to the account holder directly at the time of writing. 

When we contacted the Labour party it confirmed Mr Streeting’s response was in reference to the audio clip being shared, but did not add any further comment. 

Mr Streeting was targeted a few weeks ago with a clip supposedly showing him calling Diane Abbott a “silly woman”. We concluded that the clip was edited, with the “silly woman” audio seeming to have been added artificially.

We’ve written previously about deepfakes and the challenges of verifying audio clips in our How to spot deepfake videos and AI audio guide.

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