He may come across as a smoothy in public, but two-faced Chuka Umunna is perfectly willing to leave those below him taking fire while he hides behind closed doors. Just when it looked like Labour could be at least trying to regain some economic credibility, they’ve panicked and gone to ground.
Guido, and others, have been trying to squeeze support for Ian Murray out of his boss for days now, after the junior Shadow BIS Minister endorsed Labour MP Stella Creasy’s calls for “zero-based policy” in the next Labour manifesto – in other words a pledge to review all state spending.
Speaking as a Shadow Minister, Murray told an interview last week:
“If you start from a zero budget spending review, you can always work forward if you have money available. It’s a bit about priorities isn’t it? I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that you have to look at where your money is best spent.”
Despite countless opportunities, Chuka Umunna’s team are refusing to support their Shadow Minister, instead choosing to leave him hanging. Balls is silent too. The Adam Smith Institute, IEA, TPA, CCHQ and the LibDems are all weighing in over at London Loves Business, but poor Mr Murray is being humiliated by his big spend boss.
Guido will have to take it that Chuka does not want to review wasteful state spending were he to get into power.