Former shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has thrown his hat in the ring for the Labour leadership race. The 36 year old MP for Streatham becomes the second person to officially declare their intentions to contest the party’s leadership position after Ed Miliband stepped down last week due to the party’s disastrous defeat at the general elections.
His declaration has been met with mixed reactions as some see him as a fresh voice that could help make the party more appealing to the so called ‘aspirational voters’. Umunna criticised the last campaign led by Ed Miliband, which he himself was a part of at an appearance during the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, where he said the party had ‘failed to connect’ with the more affluent voters and accused Ed Miliband of taking Labour too far to the left.
Umunna made his declaration today while in Swindon, one of the seats Labour lost in the last election. Mr Umunna said in the short clip posted to his Facebook page, ” I also, frankly, wanted to get out of London and say what I was going to do here, because of course we’ve got to be winning in a place like Swindon. So I’m pleased to be announcing that I will be standing for the leadership of the party.
Umunna, a millionaire in his own right and Lawyer by profession is British born of mixed race heritage to a Nigerian father and a British mother. He joined the Labour party in 2006 and will become the first black person to lead a British political party if elected as Labour leader.
This throws up a lot of questions. For instance if Umunna wins the party’s leadership fight and becomes the leader of the opposition. Is the British public ready to vote for a black Prime Minister just yet? Will we have an Obama moment in history come 2020? Only time will tell.