Umunna’s EU amendment. Nothing to do with his front-bench rejection, of course

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Chuka Umunna’s grandstanding on his unwinnable EU amendment on Thursday was only ever going to serve the purposes of one person: Chuka Umunna.

But it was nothing new.

Just after the General Election, Umunna was telling LBC Radio that he was ready to serve on Labour’s front bench after he had already been informed that his services were not required – and making comments that many saw as attempting to undermine Labour’s success in increasing their vote share in both leave and remain areas by banging the drum for what appeared to be a dilution of Labour’s Brexit stance.

Proposing an amendment to the Queen’s Speech that demanded levels of detail on EU proposals that the Tories are clearly not competent to map out when their whole Queen’s Speech was devoid of substance was only ever going to force the Tories (and DUP) to stick together – and not one broke ranks to support it.

Nor could Corbyn support it without alienating the support he won in leave areas, so his decision to distance himself and the party from Umunna’s ego-driven windmill-tilting was the only sensible one he could make.

Especially when Umunna himself told the Huffington Post last autumn that he would prioritise limiting freedom of movement over free-market membership or access:

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Mr Umunna appears to have an axe to grind and certainly has his own agenda – but all his self-indulgence during the Queen’s Speech debate, foolishly supported by some Labour MPs, was ever going to achieve was to provide a convenient distraction from the Tories’ chaos and weakness.

That weakness was on clear show in their panicked attempts to buy support from their own MPs by rushing out an offer to pay for abortions in England for Northern Irish women (again the Magic Money Tree was handy when Tories needed it). And Umunna gave them respite by allowing the media to focus on him and a supposed Labour division instead.

His actions did not go down well on social media, with these two Twitter contributions typifying the reaction of many:


Umunna’s self-indulgent move on Thursday might have been some attempt at payback for the perceived slight of his rejection for front-bench duty. He might have been hoping to burnish his credentials as future leader of some centrist group or party. He might have had other motivations.

But all he achieved was to underscore the absolute wisdom of Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to keep him away from front-bench responsibilities – and to give breathing space to a Tory party that itself doesn’t believe it can remain in government or win another election.

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  1. Couldn’t agree more. Umunna’s hubris has, yet again, got the better of him

  2. Perhaps the best thing to do with this little prick of an MP is to deny him ANY air space , just don’t report on anything he does or says . Make him invisible. Then attack his support at grass roots level in his constituency by showing them how ineffective he is as their MP .He is weakening THEIR labour party which unlike Umunna looks out for the many not the few ( just like many Blairites still do within the LP ) In spite of Umunna and his Blairite values his vote share increased in his constituency because of JC and what Labour under JC now stands for , this applies to many Blairite MPs across the country. People are voting for JC’s Labour NOT necessarily for their Blairite ex new Lab muppets.
    Egotistical twats like him only survive on the oxygen of publicity ,so shut that supply off.
    Well done again JC on the right moves and direction for Labour.
    Recon this Septs conf will be a hot one for sure , make sure your CLPs have elected the moderate leftwingers to support the McDonald motion .Note my use of moderate as WE ARE moderate in what we seek to achieve. Any rule breaking and underhand corruption I’d suggest let this blog know to broadcast it wide and far

    1. His constituents mostly vote tribally as its a safe seat, he doesn’t bother actually being a constituent MP.

  3. The 49 corporatist Labour MPs who supported the single market amendment have shown their hand.

    If we remained a member of the single market we would not be able to implement the Labour manifesto in full. That manifesto was supported at the General Election by almost 13 million people.

    Therefore those 49 members of the PLP were, to all intents and purposes, voting down a soon to be Labour Government’s programme.

    Their political careers within the Labour Party are over. There will be no ministerial positions for them, all they have to look forward to is a lifetime of sitting on the backbenches wondering where it all went wrong and cursing the fact that the post politics corporate payoff they were angling for has now vanished into thin air.

    Now they have no prospect of personal power or financial gain, I expect many of them will leave politics in the near future, as Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed did.

  4. Just my emotional reaction to this agitator within the “renewed Labour for the many” is that like a burrowing parasite he either doesn’t have the conscience to recognise the damage he inflicts on the host body or he does? I have that sneaky chukka feeling that he does….

  5. Time for him to leave the party as he only thinks of himself and not any of the other MP’s in the Labour party. Reasons can be found, excuses can be found, anything can be found to make him lose his status as an MP 🙂

    1. Yes – And he ought to take the likes of Eagle (both) Berger, Kendall, Mann, Reeves, Byrne, Phillips, Cooper et al with him.

      1. Oh, that list isn’t exhaustive, nor exclusive to MP’s…

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