|Shadow Secretary of State for
Business, Innovation and Skills
7 October 2011
|Preceded by||John Denham|
|Member of Parliament
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Keith Hill|
17 October 1978 |
London, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||University of Manchester
University of Burgundy
Nottingham Law School
Chuka Harrison Umunna (born 17 October 1978) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Streatham since 2010, as well as the Shadow Business Secretary since 2011.
Umunna was born in the UK in 1978. His father Bennett, who was a Nigerian of the Igbo ethnic group, died in a road accident in Nigeria in 1992. His Irish mother, Patricia, is a solicitor and the daughter of High Court Judge Sir Helenus Milmo. Umunna was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, South London, at the voluntary aided Christ Church Primary School in Brixton Hill, and at the independent secondary school St Dunstan's College in Catford. During this period he was also a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. He has said that his politics and moral values come from Christianity, but that he is "not majorly religious". He holds an upper second class LLB in English and French Law from the University of Manchester; after graduating he studied for one term at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, before studying for an MA at Nottingham Law School.
From 2006 onwards, Umunna began to write and provide commentary on the Labour Party, social, and economic issues, usually as a member of the Management Committee of the Labour aligned Compass pressure group. He has also written for the Financial Times, Tribune, The Voice, The Guardian and the New Statesman, and broadcast on radio and television. He founded and edited an online political magazine, The Multicultural Politic. In 2007 he worked for John Cruddas' unsuccessful campaign to become Labour Deputy Leader.
Member of Parliament
In March 2008, Umunna was adopted as the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Streatham. At the 2010 general election, he was elected Member of Parliament for Streatham with a 3,259 majority; he gave his maiden speech on 2 June 2010. He took a particular interest in economic policy and reform of the City, and he was subsequently elected to serve on the Treasury Select Committee.
Umunna has argued that the coalition government should revise its programme of fiscal consolidation, take a tougher stance with the British banking industry and take action to transform the credit ratings agency market. Umunna was one of 73 Labour MPs to nominate Ed Miliband in the 2010 Labour leadership election to find a successor to Gordon Brown. Following Miliband's election, Umunna was appointed to serve as his Parliamentary Private Secretary until he was promoted to be Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise. In January 2011, Umunna questioned the Chief Executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, in relation to alleged tax avoidance activities by the bank during which he disclosed that the bank used over 300 subsidiary companies in offshore jurisdictions. In response to a question from Umunna, Diamond admitted in February 2011 that Barclays had paid £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009, despite making £11.6bn in profit.
Umunna was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary on 7 October 2011, replacing John Denham, who announced his retirement from front-bench politics. Following his appointment, Umunna re-affirmed Labour's commitment to introducing a graduate tax in place of university tuition fees if it wins the election due in May 2015. In January 2012, Umunna joined Ed Miliband and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves in calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to block a £1.6m bonus for Stephen Hester, the Chief Executive Officer of the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
During the course of 2013, Umunna led claims that the Government's valuation of the Royal Mail had effectively "shortchanged" the taxpayer ; a view supported by the significant rise in the share price following the sale and the summoning of bankers to an MP's investigation.
In April 2013, The Sun stated that in 2007 Umunna, using the Wikipedia Username Socialdemocrat, created and repeatedly edited his own Wikipedia page. The newspaper highlighted edits such as those describing Umunna as the British Barack Obama and 'gifted'. Umunna told the Daily Telegraph that he did not alter his own Wikipedia page, but the paper quoted what they called "sources close to Umunna" as having told the newspaper that "it was possible that one of his campaign team in 2007, when he was trying to be selected to be Labour's candidate for Streatham in the 2010 general election, set up the page." On 11 April 2013, the Evening Standard stated that an edit in January 2008 to Umunna's Wikipedia page was made from a computer at the law firm at which he then worked. Umunna said that he had "no recollection" of doing so.
Umunna was accused of hypocrisy when it emerged that he had accepted a £20,000 gift from a gambling executive, even though he has been campaigning against the spread of betting shops in his constituency and had promised new powers to limit them.
- "Labour appoints fresh face to replace John Denham". Times Higher Education. 7 October 2011.
- Profile of Chuka Umunna from This Is Local London
- Bloss, Andrew (08-03-12). "Friends fear Crystal Palace director was assassinated". London: The Croydon Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "The British Obama? No, Labour high-flyer Chuka's the black Blair". Daily Mail. 30 September 2012.
- "Chuka Umunna sidesteps Labour leadership question". The Daily Telegraph. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Kevin Maguire, ''The New Statesman'' (23 April 2012). Accessed 18 April 2013". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "'Chuka Umunna Coy About Leadership Ambitions', ''Sky News'' (1 October 2012). Accessed 18 April 2013". News.sky.com. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Peter McKay (2013-01-27). "Peter McKay, ''Mail Online'' (27 January 2013). Accessed 18 April 2013". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Alice Foster, 'Streatham MP Chuka Umunna would be "arrogant" to talk about Labour leadership bid', ''Streatham Guardian'' (2 October 2012). Accesed 18 April 2013". Streathamguardian.co.uk. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "'Chuka Umunna: "I'm fed up with being in the shadows"'". Channel4.com. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Walker, Tim. "'Don't compare me to Obama' Is Chuka Umunna Britain's first black PM?". 12 November 2011. The Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- Umunna, Chuka, “The duty to inspire”, New Statesman, 30 August 2007
- Umunna, Chuka, “Ask the expert: Diversity in the City”, Financial Times, 11 September 2006
- Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (2010-06-02). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 02 Jun 2010 (pt 0015)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Treasury Committee - membership - UK Parliament". Parliament.uk. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- New Statesman - The man’s not for turning
- "Credit Rating Agencies: 16 Nov 2010: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "New Clause 3 — Bank taxation: 8 Nov 2010: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Ed Miliband: Nominations". labour.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
- O'Hare, Sean (17 January 2011). "Labour MP urges Barclay's chief to reduce offshore subsidaries [sic]". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Treannor, Jill (18 February 2011). "Barclays bank forced to admit it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009". The Guardian (London).
- "Ed Miliband promotes fresh faces to Labour top team". BBC News. 7 October 2011.
- Syal, Rajeev (23 January 2012). "Ed Miliband calls for Stephen Hester to be denied a reported £1.6m RBS bonus". The Guardian (London).
- http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-10-07/umunna-taxpayer-shortchanged-by-royal-mail-sale/. Missing or empty
- "MPs summon bankers to explain their valuations of Royal Mail". The Guardian (London). 08 November 2012.
- Heighton, Luke (6 April 2013). "Chuka’s Wiki’d act". The Sun. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- Kember, Billy (12 April 2013). "Flattering ‘British Obama’ edit on Wikipedia raises questions for MP Chuka Umunna". The Times (London). Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- Hope, Christopher (7 April 2013). "Labour star Chuka Umunna admits his aides probably set up and edited his own Wikipedia page". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- Watts, Joseph (11 April 2013). "Mystery deepens over who changed Wikipedia entry of Labour star Chuka Umunna". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- "Rising star of Labour and betting shop critic Chuka Umunna faces embarrassment after accepting £20,000 gift from gambling executive". Independent. 06 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chuka Umunna.|
- Article archive at The Guardian
- Chuka Umunna - Operation Black Vote profile
- Chuka Umunna MP official constituency website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Streatham Labour
- TMP Online
- The rise of Chuka Umunna MP charted by Ethos Journal
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Streatham
2010 – present
|Shadow Business Secretary
2011 – present