Chuka Umunna literally doesn’t know if he’s Labour or Tory

Chuka Umunna
Fréa Lockley

On 4 October, Labour MP Chuka Umunna appeared on BBC‘s This Week. But when asked if he preferred Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech, his answer showed that he literally doesn’t seem to know if he’s Labour or Tory.


Presenter Andrew Neil asked Umunna:

To whom are you closer: Mr Corbyn’s speech, or Mrs May’s speech?

You’d think that the answer from the Labour MP for Streatham would be easy and instant? But no. Umunna replied:

There are elements of Mrs May’s speech that large swathes of the Labour Party would agree with.

Yep. And he didn’t counter this with any reference to Corbyn’s speech. Not at all.

In fact, he went on to agree with fellow guest Michael Portillo and to discuss the two-party system in UK politics. That’s right. No mention of, let alone support for, Corbyn. Although he did find common ground with a train-loving, Conservative ex-MP:

Needless to say, many from Labour’s ‘swathes’ challenged this:

Next level…

Umunna didn’t stop there. When Neil suggested he’d “lost his party for a generation”, he replied:

Maybe, I don’t know… ultimately… whether or not there are new parties and all that, is a question for the leadership.

That is a strange reaction given there are 540,000 Labour members. Since Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in 2015, membership has grown from 190,000. As the Tory membership drops, Labour is still ahead in the polls.

As many on social media pointed out, discussion of a ‘lost party’ was an ‘insult’ too far:

He also kept referring to Labour as a “social democratic” party. It’s not, and the fact that it’s not is very significant:

Perhaps this should come as no surprise. Umunna is, after all, the one who claimed ‘moderate’ Labour members were under attack and told Corbyn to “call off the dogs”. But not knowing which party he’s in and supporting May’s speech really is next level.

Cheers, Chuka. With Labour ‘friends’ like this, who needs enemies? And let’s not mention ‘reselection‘. For now…

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Fréa Lockley