Chuka Umunna dismisses claims he could challenge Jeremy Corbyn before 2020 election

Posted On: 
25th September 2016

Top Labour MP Chuka Umunna has dismissed claims he might challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership ahead of the 2020 general election.

Fomer shadow minister Chuka Umunna is being urged by colleagues to stand against Jeremy Corbyn, according to reports
Credit: 
PA Images

The former frontbencher insisted the leadership of the party was “settled” after Mr Corbyn won a second resounding mandate from the membership yesterday.

In a stunning victory, the left-wing veteran received 61.8% of the vote in the race against Owen Smith - giving him an even bigger mandate than last year, when he received 59.5%.

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An ally of Mr Umunna, who entered then backed out of the 2015 leadership race, told the Mail on Sunday he was “definitely back in the game and up for this in the future”.

“He knows what’s at stake and he knows Corbyn can never take us back into power,” a source added.

But appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show this morning, Mr Umunna said Labour's focus must be taking on the Conservatives ahead of 2020.

“This issue of the leadership is settled. We don't need to be talking about this any more,” he declared.

“We need to be working out how we win the next general election. Because ultimately that's the way we put our values into practice.”

The Streatham MP is standing for the chairmanship of the Home Affairs Select Committee after Keith Vaz was forced to stand down when he became engulfed in a scandal.

Mr Umunna was tipped by colleague John Mann earlier this week as one of three MPs with “the potential to embrace this wider world” and win a general election.

Dan Jarvis and Lisa Nandy were the others Bassetlaw MP Mr Mann recommended putting a “small bet on”.

Addressing his supporters yesterday, Mr Corbyn said: "I will do everything I can to repay the trust and the support, to bring our party together, to make it an engine for progress in our country and the people who depend on the Labour party to protect their interest, to get power and deliver real change in this country.

“Let’s wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we’ve got to do as a party together.”