Week 20: Prat – Chuka Umunna

by Jackie_South on May 18, 2015

Labour_PratThis week, the Streatham MP wins our award for being the biggest prat of the last seven days

A week ago, Chuka Umunna looked like the favourite to become the next leader of the Labour Party: clearly getting the nod from the Prince of Darkness himself, Lord Mandelson. Everything looked to be running in his favour when he announced his candidature on Tuesday.

Three days later, he had dropped out. Why isn’t clear: he claims it was the level of media scrutiny, which included doorstepping of elderly relatives. But he would surely have expected the press to be intrusive, and the inclusion of the relatives would probably only happen if there was something else going on.

So was there a scandal? He denies it, others have denied it on his behalf too. But Friday’s Evening Standard dropped hints that Sunday’s papers had something on him. It made reference to him making “no secret of his enjoyment of clubbing” and mentioned that he had kept his girlfriend out of the media until this week. So sex? Drugs?

In the end, there was nothing in the end in the Sunday papers, perhaps because it became less of a story once he was out the race. But later on Sunday, The Mail mentioned donations from a company that helped non-doms avoid tax. Money, then?

Or was it because he couldn’t get 35 nominations? Perhaps Liz Kendall’s honest and quick entry into the race whilst he prevaricated on last Sunday’s TV had dented his chances.

We may never know the real reason, but to have dropped out after only 3 days shows that he got into something he should have known from the outset that he could not handle – whether the pressure or some secret.

What is clear is that he has damaged his credibility within the party by his rapid in-and-out of the race. A man who seven days ago was spoken of as a future leader is now beginning to be written off, at the tender age of 36, of ever holding a senior position in the party: if he can’t stand the pressure of a leadership race, how can he stand the pressure of a big role in government?

Oh, Chuka, what have you done?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris May 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm

You have had a very lucky escape Gentlemen,Chuka would of sent Labour further down the road to nowhere.It is a great shame Dan Jarvis could not put himself forward for personal reasons, as he at the moment, is the only credible person you have that would appeal to the electorate in general.
It is a poisoned chalice anyway if labour persists in appealing only to the loony left,I would advise you to leave that sector to the Greens.
We now have to suffer five years of misery from the Conservatives,because you lot can not get your act together,Thanks for That!

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