Chuka Umunna quit Labour leadership race because of scrutiny on 'elderly mother', says Labour MP

Ben Bradshaw says Mr Umunna's extended family had been subject to scrutiny

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Indy Politics

Press scrutiny of Chuka Umunna that led him to quit the Labour leadership contest involved “an elderly mother”, a Labour MP has said.

Ben Bradshaw, who has expressed interest in running for deputy leader, said the episode was “tragic” and suggested that Mr Umunna’s very large and close extended family may have been put under pressure.

“I think it would be wrong to speculate, we don't know exactly what the nature of the scrutiny was, I understand it involved an elderly mother and other relatives and none of us knows what that is like until we actually go through it,” he told Sky News.

“If it's true that this is a result of the scrutiny on his very large and close extended family in south London, I think it's very, very sad.”

Ben Bradshaw made the comment on Sky News

The shadow business secretary this morning pulled out of the race to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader, citing “scrutiny and attention”.

“Since the night of our defeat last week I have been subject to the added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate,” he said. 

“I have not found it to be a comfortable experience … I continued to have very real concerns and worry about this bid’s impact on those close to me.”

The claim follows a hostile blogpost about Mr Umunna’s girlfriend from a Conservative blogger.

Writing on Conservative Woman, Laura Perrins was criticised of the shadow business secretary’s unmarried status.

“I am sure she is a perfectly nice woman and, as is now mandatory in Labour circles for wives or girlfriends, she is a lawyer. It is more the fact that Umunna has a girlfriend – and not a wife,” she wrote.

A number of other allegations have also been published in some newspapers regarding purported past comments by Mr Umunna.