New MP who said election win was ‘for Gaza’ is brother of Islamist group founder

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New MP who said election win was ‘for Gaza’ is brother of Islamist group founder

EXCLUSIVE: Shockat Adam, who defeated former Labour shadow minister Jon Ashworth in Leicester South, is brother of Ismail Patel, who 'saluted' Hamas' attacks on 7 October

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Shockat Adam lifts Palestinian Keffiyah after his Leicester South election victory is confirmed
Shockat Adam lifts Palestinian Keffiyah after his Leicester South election victory is confirmed

A newly elected MP who dedicated his victory to “the people of Gaza” is the brother of the founder of the hardline Islamist group Friends of Al Aqsa, it can be revealed.

Shockat Adam was the surprise winner in Leicester South in Thursday’s general election, where he took the seat from former Labour shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth, one of Keir Starmer’s most trusted media performers.

At the count, where Adam’s narrow victory over the former shadow paymaster general was confirmed, he was passed a black and white keffiyah headscarf from somebody in the audience as he gave his victory speech, and announced in a “humble gesture” that it had been “for the people of Gaza”.

Ashworth had held the seat since 2011 and secured a majority of more than 22,000 in 2019.

Neglecting to use his surname for his community-based campaign in the east Midlands, it has emerged Adam is the brother of Ismail Patel, who has previously visited Hamas leaders in Gaza, and has said he “saluted” the group for resisting Israel.

Election campaign social media post for Shockat Adam

Patel founded the Friends of Al Aqsa group in his Leicester home city in the mid 1990s, and has played a leading role in the pro-Palestine demos that have flourished across the UK since the October 7 Hamas terror atricity in Israel.

His brother, who now will join a small but vocal group of pro-Palestine campaigners in Westminster when parliament reconvenes later this month after the election, has also made speeches at pro-Palestinian protests in Leicester in recent months.

Campaign material circulated on social media ahead of Adam’s surprise general election win included a photo of him speaking to a group of protestors waving Palestinian flags with the words “Our Community Needs You.”

Activists backing his campaign repeatedly hounded Ashworth on the streets of the city, accusing him of betraying the Palestinian people.

One local source also claimed Adam had shared an office used by the Friends of Al Aqsa organisation in the city.

In a social media post after the election results Friends of Al Aqsa posted on X:”Yesterday’s election was a tectonic shift in British politics. Widespread dissatisfaction at the Conservative’s and Labour’s stance on Palestine and the ongoing genocide in Gaza saw an unprecedented shift towards pro-Palestinian candidates, both running as Independents and within smaller parties.”

The group’s post included a photograph of Adam at the Leicester South count.

Post by Friends of Al-Asqa

Adam also received the support of The Muslim Vote (TMV) organisation,  which sought to direct Muslim voters in the election to candidates that were seen as being supportive of their ideology, in seats where the result could be influenced.

TMV’s influence could be seen in results in several constituencies where established Labour MPs came under serious challenge at last week’s election.

In Blackburn Adnan Hussain beat the Labout candidate by 132 votes.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed that at a Free Palestine rally in 2014 he gave a speech that claimed Israel’s military operation in the summer of that year was a “holocaust” and called for a boycott of companies that supported the country.

“They let Gaza burn, they hate Gaza. Now let’s make Israel burn, let’s make Israel burn,” he said.

Hussain told the paper he had been “speaking from a place of very high emotion triggered by what I very clearly state in the speech in question [is] a genocide”.

Meanwhile Ayoub Khan beat the UK’s first Muslim MP Khalid Mahmood in Birmingham Perry Barr.

Khan was formerly a Liberal Democrat councillor, exposed by Jewish News after posting a TikTok video in which he questioned the credibility of some accounts of the Hamas October 7 massacre.

The Lib Dems responded by saying he had “apologised and deleted the post” in question and “agreed to undergo antisemitism training” but reportedly cleared him of any wrongdoing.

However, Khan later posted another video in which he said: “At no stage have I considered my material on TikTok offensive, nor have I agreed with anyone that I would undergo a training course in antisemitism. There is simply no need.”

Ashworth, one of Labour’s most competent performers,  was a high-profile casualty of this campaign Muslim block vote campaign, but shadow health minister Wes Streeting came within less than 600 votes of losing his seat in Ilford North.

Anti-Jonathan Ashworth posters, without imprint

Other Muslim Labour MPs, including Naz Shah in Bradford and Rushanara Ali in Bethnal Green faced serious challenges in their own seats, as did new Justice Minister Shabaana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood.

All faced claims of being “pro-genocide” for continuing to stand for Keir Starmer’s party, with wild and false claims about alleged “Zionist” influence in Labour, repeatedly at the centre of smear campaigns against them.

Jewish News understands that in Leicester South, thousands of posters branding Ashworth a “ceasefire abstainer” were delivered to houses in the constituency.

The posters, which read “Vote for Genocide Vote Labour” were circulated to homes om paid for delivery, although there was no indication as to who had funded the anti-Ashworth literature.

Without an imprint it was impossible to trace who was behind the posters.

One local in Leicester told Jewish News they had spoken to a person delivering the posters who alleged he was being paid “cash in hand” to put them through letterboxes.

On his official website new Leicester South MP Adam avoids giving the impression that his campaign is based solely around the Gaza issues, and includes a pledge to “protect our NHS” and “champion affordable housing.”

And in a social media video posted after his election victory he stressed he would work “hard for each and every one of you in the constituency.”

But on his website Adam suggests  “our opposition, the media and specific Zionist organisations” are behind attempts to ban pro-Palestine demos taking place in this country.

He adds: “Weaponising terms like antisemitism, a heinous prejudice in itself, are used and abused to smear any objector of the actions of the Israeli military.”

Following Adam’s election victory, in which he secured victory over Ashworth by less than one thousand votes, some community campaigners expressed concern about the impact of “divisive” values.

While the new local MP had sought to exploit anger over Gaza, far-right activist Tommy Robinson also circulated videos put out by pro-Adam activists who were seen following Ashworth on the campaign trail and challenged him for supporting Labour’s Gaza policy.

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted the same videos on his channels, writing”Yet another Labour MP hounded  by Muslims in the UK over ‘Palestine’.

“Chickens coming home to roost, Labour abandoned the working class for the Muslim vote.”

But one respected local figure told Jewish News that during the election campaign in Leicester South “the streets were full of bullying and intimidation.”

Jewish News has contacted Adam for comment.

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