Umunna surprises no one at all by joining LibDems – the party he was plotting six weeks ago to destroy

Umunna’s leaked plan didn’t go down well with LibDem activists
Chuka Umunna

Analysis

News has emerged that former Labour – and former ‘Tinge party’ MP – Chuka Umunna will stand for the LibDems in Streatham in the next general election. He has still shown no sign of offering Streatham voters the opportunity to have a democratic say by offering a by-election.

LibDem activists at the recent European Parliament elections were adamant that he would not be allowed to represent them, saying that they would have to be consulted and that they would say no.

However, LibDem leadership contender Ed Davey insisted Umunna would be welcome.

The LibDems’ rule-book is clear that local members decide who will represent them in parliamentary elections:

Existing LibDem parliamentary candidates are also opposed, telling the New Statesman in April that Umunna backed policies that made them ‘aghast’ and that they had a low opinion of the ‘TIG’ MPs:

They are suspicious of TIG

None of the candidates were opposed to working with the Independent Group, which is in the process of registering as a party called Change UK. But most were sceptical of it and several of its MPs. “There are worries about their policy stances,” one said.

Several candidates brought up Chuka Umunna’s call for a form of national service, which liberals would be “aghast at”. They also mentioned Joan Ryan’s deputy chairmanship of the ‘No to Alternative Voting’ campaign in the 2011 referendum that would have changed Britain’s voting system.

Candidates argued that TIG has yet to develop its own policies. “We’re clear what we stand for. We need to know what they represent,” one said. “With some of them it’s clear they were leaving something rather than going towards something,” according to another.

They’re right to be suspicious. In late April, a leaked memo revealed that Umunna and his ‘CUK’ colleagues were plotting to wipe out and replace – yes, you’ve guessed it – the LibDems:

LibDem members were understandably peeved.

Umunna’s Twitter profile does not yet reflect his new LibDem ‘allegiance’, liveried in a kind of magenta matching one of the post-Change theme colours on his website. Bizarrely, however, as of the time of writing his profile still features him at the ‘TIG’ launch in its landing-page banner:

Even more bizarrely, the home page also still uses the TIG/CUK line about politics being broken – and that ‘something different’ is needed to fix it.

Umunna was with current LibDem leader Vince Cable on Thursday. The closing date for leadership applications, coincidentally, was Friday.

SKWAWKBOX view:

Joining a party formed in 1990 by the merger of one founded in the 1850s with another formed in 1981 might just be considered an odd way of Umunna doing ‘something different’ to fix ‘broken’ politics – especially when the party he’s joining is indelibly stained by its complicit guilt in the huge damage done to the people of this country by politically-driven austerity.

But perhaps change is no longer needed and Chuka will soon change his website headline to: “More of the same – only orange!“.

What an embarrassment these quitters have made of themselves. If Umunna thinks he’s worth electing behind any colour of rosette, let him respect his constituents and call a by-election.

But this ridiculous business reflects equally badly on the LibDems, who are clearly don’t really believe they’re electable and are scrabbling desperately for any boost to their numbers.

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24 responses to “Umunna surprises no one at all by joining LibDems – the party he was plotting six weeks ago to destroy

  1. He may (or may not) have joined the LDs; he may (or may not) be standing. But I really can’t see him standing in Streatham as a Libdem, unless he really believes his personal following is 100% loyal to him, and not the Labour party.

    General Election 2017 results
    Labour Chuka Umunna 38,212 – 68.5% +15.5%
    Conservative Kim Cadd 11,927 – 21.4 -3.7%
    Liberal Democrat – Alex Davies – 3,611 – 6.5% -2.5%
    Green Party – Nicole Griffiths – 1,696 – 3.0% -5.8%
    UKIP – Robert Stephenson – 349 – 0.6% -2.6%
    Change compared with 2015

    Go West Young Man, is my advice 😉

    • Don’t MPs get a better financial settlement if they stand and lose their seat, compared to if they don’t contest the subsequent GE?

      • And there’s always the Tv appearance fees to fall back on. 🙁

    • No Hiding Place for you fella!
      No matter where you go you will be deselected!
      As for us voters who have long memories it will be a time when earth freezes over before you’re ever elected again!
      Do us all a favour and “GO NOW”!

  2. He must by now have realised that his political career is virtually over and is desperately trying to salvage what he can of it – utterly pathetic.

  3. Similar to the Green libdem coalition under the guise of ‘Another Europe is possible’ an infiltration organisation under the direction of Carline Lucas and remain MPs. They were successful last year of getting activists elected as delegates ,this year they intend to do better ,already a second referendum is being pitched at local branches with a possibility of a generical election as a second choice with a model motion being pushed at our CLPs https://www.anothereurope.org/motion-for-labour-party-conference-2019/?fbclid=IwAR26oiFRN4gZccR-JQD91DjFXtc0e0roYoEPKihuwrSa1fEsdu-uAQ6_ZZ8

      • Says the man who’d be first to whine if Corbyn supporters infiltrated the LibDems to bring sanity to their Brexit policy (which doesn’t realise the referendum happened. A while back).

  4. No one saw that coming either. It’s all highly predictable. I should imagine the next phase of “Operation Chucka” will involve the fellow trying to wheedle his way in to the Lib Dem leadership over the heads of loyal party members who have dedicated years to the cause. I am betting that he will eventually fall out with them too
    Look Out Lib Dems – You have been warned .

  5. Carry on agent Chuckup only two more parties to destroy,
    he is like the last Trident test, where the missile turned and headed back towards America
    Can we create the political equivalent of the Darwin awards for disservice and disloyalty to your latest party
    I nominate Jess Phillip’s and Wes Tweeting

  6. Quelle surprise.

    ChangeUK was stillborn – its funeral came hard on the heels of its creation. So they’ve got nowhere else to go – except the door marked ‘EXIT’.

    • It seems the door was marked “LibDems”.
      And you’re welcome. Enjoy your new buddy.

  7. Pingback: Umunna surprises no one at all by joining LibDems – the party he was plotting six weeks ago to destroy | sdbast·

  8. Perhaps now is the time to treat Ummuna with the ignoring he deserves, and focus on our own Party.

    Reality check :

    The Peterborough result was a great achievement, thanks to a brilliant campaign on the ground. Deflating Farrago and his Brexit nonsense was absolutely a prime concern.

    But the essential problems are still there : the share of the vote was critically low, and victory also depended on a right-wing split of epic proportions. Meanwhile, Labour support continues to be at a critically low level – even when you take out the questionable YouGov poll results, and Corbyn’s personal ratings have fallen dramatically since 2017, and are presently lower than those for Farage. The local and EU elections demonstrated a worrying capacity for Labour votes to leak to the LibDems and the Greens – the Remain parties. The Party itself is strongly conflicted over Brexit policy.

    Of course, there is the irrefutable fact that there has been a massive campaign – historically unprecedented – against the Party and Corbyn, with the right recidivists of the PLP from the 2000’s strongly in the forefront.

    But, in the end, given the facts of the situation, Labour clearly has major issues to address if it is to look forward to a credible majority when a GE arrives. It can’t just depend on feeding off the right-wing split – one feature of the current situation is that the gap between the two main parties is remarkably tight, given the total incompetence of the Tories and the shambles that is government.

    So – focusing attention on Umunna and his ilk is really beside the point.

    • “Of course, there is the irrefutable fact that there has been a massive campaign – historically unprecedented – against the Party and Corbyn, with the right recidivists of the PLP from the 2000’s strongly in the forefront.”
      Your modesty is overwhelming.
      But we know who you are.

      • “But we know who you are”

        The playground Stasi speaks 🙂

        … but clearly you don’t, whoever the coterie of ‘we’ comprises in your dark world of fantasy.

        However, let’s see if you can raise your game above the political equivalent of zapping imaginary monsters as if on a political equivalent of a playstation.

        My post stuck to a series of observations. Dispute them; provide answers – but do try to have something to say beyond not very clever or penetrating attempts at insult that require more thought than simply repeating the incredibly tedious non -inisight of ‘Chuka Umunna is a …****”” and you are a LibDem. Nya Nya”

  9. I disagree, I think it’s better to set a challenging schedule.
    “Let’s sideline some stuff” isn’t quite so motivational – and I feel we need motivation today.
    Climate change can be our Moon landing.

    “We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…”

  10. I for one would welcome Chuka into the Lib’ Dem’s. He can bring about its demise as the Irrelevance they surely are to British politics. A bunch of part-time Tories. Once Chuka has wormed his way into them he’ll start his destruction from within. I hope Streatham CLP are going to send him the bill for the money they used to re-elect him, as I hope all the other CLP’s do. We should not be out of pocket if an MP leaves to join another party.

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