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Labour to form Government as shadow health secretary narrowly holds on to seat

Labour to form Government as shadow health secretary narrowly holds on to seat

The Labour Party will form the next Government following a landslide victory in yesterday’s general election.

However, the party’s shadow health secretary only very narrowly held on to his parliamentary seat, with an independent candidate standing on a pro-Gaza platform just 500 votes behind.

Wes Streeting was only 528 votes from losing his seat of Ilford North. He received 15,647 but Leanne Mohamad – who had called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza as part of her campaign – closely followed at 15,119 votes.

Last month, Mr Streeting promised that general practice ‘has a lot to look forward to’ under a Labour Government.

He has also said that GP concerns around the role of physician associates (PAs) need to be ‘seriously’ addressed and that Labour will look at reviewing the ARRS scheme.

Labour’s election manifesto pledged to ‘reform’ primary care, trialling ‘neighbourhood health centres’ which would have GPs and other community health staff ‘under one roof’.

The manifesto carried no immediate promises of increased investment in general practice but said the party will ‘return the family doctor’.

The party had previously said it wants to shift more money to primary care over time.

According to the manifesto, ‘GPs are the front door to the health service for most people’, with ‘excellent primary care’ the ‘key to earlier diagnosis’.

However it claimed that ‘too often it is not possible to get an appointment, so Labour will reform the system’.

Former health secretary and outgoing Tory chancellor Jeremy Hunt also narrowly held on to his parliamentary seat of Godalming and Ash, as he took home a majority of 891 votes ‘after a number of recounts’.

Earlier this year, the Liberal Democrats said they were making a play for his seat by highlighting cuts to GP funding. 

Health minister Maria Caulfield lost her seat in Lewes, which was gained by Lib Dem James MacCleary.

Thérèse Coffey, who served as health secretary between September and October 2022, also lost her seat of Suffolk Coastal to Labour by 1070 votes, only hours after she was made a Dame in the Dissolution Honours.


  • Gloucestershire GP Dr Simon Opher became the new Labour MP for Stroud, as he gained the seat from the Conservatives with 25,607 votes.
  • And Midlands GP Dr Luke Evans was re-elected as a Conservative MP in Hinkley and Bosworth, with 17,032 votes. 
  • North Staffordshire LMC chair Dr Chandra Kanneganti, who was the Conservative candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central, also came third with 6,221 votes as Labour gained the seat from the Tories. 
  • Former Scottish shadow health secretary and GP Dr Sandesh Gulhane lost to Labour in the East Renfrewshire constituency, as he came third with 8,494 votes. He has been the Conservative MSP for the Glasgow region since 2021 and will continue in this role.
  • In Ilford North, Conservative candidate Dr Kaz Rizvi, a GP partner, was standing against Wes Streeting and came third with 9,619 votes. 
  • London GP Dr Reva Gudi, who was standing as the Conservative candidate for the Feltham and Heston constituency, came second with 8,195 votes as Labour’s incumbent MP Seema Malhotra held on to her seat.
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight LMC chair and Labour candidate Dr Sally Johnston received 10,812 votes in the New Forest West constituency but the seat was held by the Conservatives, as Desmond Swayne won with 16,412 votes. 
  • In Rotherham, Lib Dem candidate and GP Dr Adam Carter came third with 2,824 votes as Labour held the seat.
  • In South West Norfolk – former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ constituency – Dr Pallavi Devulapalli, a GP standing for the Greens, received 1,838 votes but Labour gained the seat with 11,847 votes.
  • Dr Reza Hossain, also a GP standing as a Green candidate in Chelmsford, took home 1,588 votes but the seat was a Lib Dem gain (20,214 votes) from the Conservatives.
  • In Wales, former Conservative MP for the Vale of Clwyd and GP Dr James Davies lost to Labour in the race for the new parliamentary seat of Clwyd East. He had been an MP since 2015. 

Following the election result, RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne said that general practice needs to be a ‘day one priority’ for the new Government.

She said: ’As the new Labour government takes power, general practice will need to be an immediate, “day one” priority for the new health secretary.

‘We congratulate them on their victory, and hope that they will use this decisive election result to tackle the crisis facing primary care – we look forward to sharing our ideas with them.’

Chair elect of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council Dr Alan Stout said: ‘I want to take this opportunity to both congratulate our new and returning MPs for Northern Ireland but also urge them to make health their number one priority in Westminster.

‘Doctors in our hospitals and GP surgeries are being forced to deliver care in a system reeling from years of political instability, underfunding, declining workforce numbers and the worst waiting lists in the UK.

‘Add in years of below inflationary, delayed pay rises and workforce morale has never been lower, forcing our secondary care doctors into pay disputes with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

‘The Westminster government cannot stand back and allow the Northern Ireland health service to continue this way.’

Commenting on the election result, Andy Pow, AISMA board member and director at Forvis Mazars, said: ‘General practice needs a period of stability. While the new government has inherited significant financial pressures, it must resist the temptation to bring in major contractual change without fully understanding the wider tax and pension implications.

‘Investment in primary care as a percentage of the NHS budget has reduced over the last decade and the recent inflationary pressures in the economy have impacted significantly on the funding of core practice income. This has led to many practices believing they are unable to continue operating.

‘While the new government has stated it is constrained by finances within the context of the NHS, it must explore how to reduce the possibility of more GP practices handing back their contracts. This means supporting funding going into the core contract in England and through the devolved budget in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which is what pays for GP premises, running costs, management, reception, nurse and GP staff at practice level.’