Thursday 17 October 2019

Chuka Umunna’s old tweets come back to haunt him as he joins Lib Dems

The MP, now representing his third party of the year, was reminded that he said ‘you can’t trust a words the Lib Dems say’.

By Stephen Jones, Press Association

Twitter users have been reminding new Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna of some of the things he said about the party before joining them – including a claim he “couldn’t forgive them” for austerity.

Various old tweets from the former Labour and Change UK politician were resurfaced after Mr Umunna announced he would be representing a third party in the space of a year.

One post which has now gone viral saw Mr Umunna write: “I could never ever countenance suggesting voters support Liberal Democrat or Conservative candidates on account of their Remain credentials – this would require turning a blind eye to the cuts to our local schools, the NHS and other public services instigated by both parties in Government from 2010 to 2015 and carried on by the Tories alone since 2015, which all our communities are now suffering from.

Retweeting the post, originally written in April 2017, Labour-supporting political commentator Owen Jones wrote: “Chuka Umunna has just joined the Lib Dems, 2 years after saying he couldn’t forgive what they’ve done to his area and couldn’t countenance suggesting voters back them.

“He’s been a member of 3 political parties this year. He should stop insulting his voters and call a byelection.”

In another previous tweet from 2013, Mr Umunna said: “Vince Cable talks about increasing the minimum wage, but you can’t trust a word the Lib Dems say.”

In a Times interview with Mr Cable announcing his move, Mr Umunna said he had been “wrong” to believe the UK needed a new political party.

Mr Umunna was one of a number of Labour and Tory MPs who quit the parties in February to form the anti-Brexit Change UK, which was originally known as the Independent Group and has now applied to change its name to The Independent Group for Change.

After the Streatham MP tweeted about his latest switch, some urged him to call a byelection.

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery responded: “Whey aye Chuka….we believe you we really do! Three parties in as many months….who’s next ?

“Put your immense popularity to the good people of Streatham…let’s have a PV (people’s vote) on you and your principles.”

Former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway was more succinct in his response to the announcement, simply replying “lol”.

When asked by the Times if he was prepared for a backlash from his former colleagues, Mr Umunna said: “I’ve got a pretty thick skin.”

PA Media

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