Page 3 Profile: Chuka Umunna, Shadow business secretary


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The Independent Online

The next leader of the Labour party?

Maybe, which is perhaps why someone has taken to dredging up unfortunate episodes from his past. It has emerged that prior to becoming an MP, Mr Umunna posted some tactless remarks on an exclusive, invitation-only social network site aimed at “the world’s tastemakers”. Using his middle name Harrison, he pondered in 2006: “Is it just me or is there a serious lack of cool places to go in central London at the weekends?”

A perfectly reasonable question from a 20-something Londoner!

Alas, the post on ASmallWorld  went on: “Most of the West End haunts seem to be full of trash and C-list wannabes, while other places that should know better opt for the cheesy vibe.” It is the word “trash” that has caused most consternation.

I’ve never heard of this site before...

You’re probably not a “jetrosexual”.

A what?

An article on the website’s front page says: “For the world’s jetrosexuals, there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to aircraft purchase.” It’s worth bearing in mind that Streatham, Umunna’s constituency, is not the most affluent part of London. Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Chuka, or should I say Harrison, has been outed as the ultimate champagne socialist.”

What does Umunna have to say?

His spokesperson said: “In terms of the post from 2006, these were comments made on a private social network… Though light-hearted in tone and context, and made long before he became an MP, Chuka accepts the words used were not appropriate and apologises…”