13 Sep 2012

Chuka Umunna: Britain’s first ex-DJ prime minister?


Are you looking at a future Labour leader? Could Chuka Umunna be Britain’s first ex-DJ PM? Only 10 years after finishing his education and 18 months as an MP, and he is a Cabinet minister-in-waiting. What drives him? What happened to the old Compass firebrand? On Sunday 30 September 2012, I’ll be talking to Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna in the Channel 4 fringe “In Conversation” event at 1pm in Manchester Central (Charter 2).

When Chuka Umunna was first promoted to the shadow Cabinet by his old friend Ed Miliband, David Cameron lent over on his way out of the Commons to congratulate him. Ken Clarke piped up behind the prime minister: “Watch your back!” It’s been a rapid rise and, not surprisingly, it’s attracted some jealousy.

The son of a Nigerian father and a British mother, Chuka Umunna went to independent school and, after university, headed for a city law firm. When did the political light switch on and what kind of journey has he been on from “Progress” to “Compass” to the shadow Cabinet?

Chuka Umunna says, thanks to an earlier generation of black politicians, he doesn’t have to wear that label and can be a politician who happens to be black. Does he think Westminster and the media get that? How fed up is he when the headlines on “Britain’s Obama” get trundled out?

Come and judge for yourself how far you think this meteoric career deserves to go.

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