Audio of swearing protesters added to video of Keir Starmer at polling station

3 May 2024
What was claimed

A video published by the Independent shows people chanting “f*** Keir Starmer” as the Labour leader and his wife left a polling station on 2 May.

Our verdict

False. The audio of people chanting has been edited into the clip—the original Independent video did not include this audio or subtitles reporting any such chants.

A video showing Sir Keir Starmer and his wife, Victoria Starmer, leaving a polling station has been shared on social media with fake audio and edited subtitles. 

In the clip, which has a logo for the Independent, people out of the shot appear to be chanting “f*** Keir Starmer” as the Labour leader and his wife exit the polling station. Overlaid subtitles say: “Protestors shout ‘F**k Keir Starmer’ as he votes in local and mayoral election”. 

It has been shared on both X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook with captions suggesting it is genuine footage, including “doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as ‘Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn’”.

Elections for local councillors, mayors, and police and crime commissioners took place in parts of England and Wales on 2 May 2024, including in London where Mr Starmer lives.  

However, there is no such chanting in the real video published by the Independent on its website and YouTube channel. This longer version shows the couple arriving and leaving the polling station with the sound of cameras taking photos and a few shouts of “Sir”, apparently from the photographers, towards the end of the footage.

A caption at the start of the clip from the Independent says: “Keir Starmer votes in local and London Mayoral election”, but there’s no mention of protesters shouting. 

This is not the first time Mr Starmer has been the subject of manipulated content creating a false impression of events. We’ve previously written about a video edited to make him appear confused in response to a question about Brexit, a deepfake video seemingly showing him promote an investment scheme, an unevidenced audio clip supposedly recording him swearing at his staff and a photo edited to make it look like he was sitting with Jimmy Saville rather than Gordon Brown.

It’s important to consider whether something shows what it claims to before sharing it online—our guide on spotting misleading videos should help you to do this.

Image courtesy of Rwendland

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