Chuka Calls Lib Dem Policy ‘Patronising’

Chuka took to breakfast TV screens early this morning (clearly having avoided last night’s singalong) to declare that “one thing I think you acknowledge, I’ve always wanted to stop Brexit, and that’s been the goal.”

… which would come as a surprise to the Chuka of August 2016 who declared “I don’t think [stopping Brexit] would be a good look for Parliament, the people have spoken. I think it would be rather patronizing to pretend that somehow we know better.”

Another whopping dishonest U-Turn from the Lib Dems…

Carpetbagging Chuka Abandons Streatham for Westminster

Kevin Schofield is reporting that Labour-turned-Change UK-turned-Independent-turned-Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna is abandoning his Labour safe seat of Streatham for the more marginal Westminster seat – currently held by Tory MP Mark Field with a 3,000 majority. The Lib Dems came 3rd there last time…

In a statement, Chuka has said:

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as the @LibDems candidate for the Cities of London & Westminster. I relish the prospect of ensuring the constituency – which is a global symbol for open, liberal values– is represented by a party and an MP who will be true to those values.”

Streatham Lib Dems Disown Chuka

It’s been almost seven weeks since Chuka abandoned a heartbroken Anna Soubry for the Lib Dems. So a co-conspirator was surprised to receive a Streatham Lib Dems leaflet this morning not only making no mention of Streatham’s new Lib Dem MP but even featuring a lengthy section with the previous Lib Dem PPC for Streatham – who’s been unceremoniously shunted out as a result. Local activists not universally enthused by their new golden boy?

Anna Soubry’s Chuka Heartbreak

Poor Anna Soubry. She’s lost influence, friends, and will probably lose her seat.

She has poured her heart out to ITV’s Paul Brand “we made some terrible mistakes over leadership and I can tell you now that the problem was was that Chuka wouldn’t step up to it. And if Chuka had stepped up to it he would have been our leader, it was certainly …well I always assumed it was absolutely going to happen. 

Paul Brand: Why do you think he didn’t?
Anna Soubry: You’d have to ask him that but he does have history of not stepping up. Very sad because he… to me he was absolutely the future for our country. I genuinely believe that, I wouldn’t have left my party if I hadn’t believed that.

PB: Were you trying to persuade him to stand as leader?
AS: Good God, yes. Goodness me yes. He should have been our leader and he wasn’t and then after the EU elections which were a terrific blow of course they were you don’t give up at the first hurdle, for God’s sakes.

PB: How did you feel when he joined the Lib Dems?
AS: I think he made a terrible mistake. I was genuinely really sad about that. For me it personally hurt, it really did hurt. I thought he was my big buddy. He was a major part of why I left the Tory party. To start something new with him as the leader, I don’t want to be the bloody leader I genuinely believe that Chuka Umunna should be prime minister of our country and had the – just what we were needing to be a great prime minister. I genuinely believe that. 

PB: Have you spoken to him since he joined the Lib Dems?
AS: Unfortunately, he has never called. He has never called me. Which I think is very sad. 

PB: The friendship’s sort of broken down then?
AS: Very sad. Very sad.
We have exchanged emails but you now, you sort of, well I won’t go into it all but …

Watch her heartbreaking ITV interview in full and hold back your tears…

Sour Soubry Sears Chuka

There’s evidently no love lost between former best buddies Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna after their highly acrimonious Change UK breakup. Soubry’s kicked off the airing of the dirty laundry with a searing attack on her onetime comrade after he declared that he would be a Lib Dem “until the day I die”. Try not to shed a tear… of laughter.

Soubry’s hardly one for keeping promises herself but she’s got Chuka bang to rights here…

Friday Caption Contest (Who’s The Boss Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Chuka Changes Tack: ‘We Are Going To Need To Revoke Article 50’

Seeminly Chuka read this piece on Sky, panicked, and changed tack over the course of the last couple of days in a desperate move for Change UK to become relevant. He told Sky’s Lewis Goodall  that he was against outright revocation just three days ago…

“Had one of the Remain forces campaigned for revoke, then a People’s Vote might seem more palatable. But Chuka Umunna tells me afterwards, they won’t do it because it’s unreasonable and that’s just not them.”

Desperate times…

Chuka-Festo Launched

Chuka has launched his own 50-page “progressive manifesto” today, setting out his vision for the future of the country. Chuka insists that he is only putting them forward in his “personal capacity” and not as leader spokesman of the TIGgers…

There’s plenty of cuddly centrist ideas like a specific NHS-tax and nationalising “public benefit companies” without embracing full-on renationalisation, which Chuka says would be a “waste of money”. What will Anna Soubry think of his more lefty policies like hiking taxes on shareholders?

Guido is not sure the hordes of europhile youths will be quite so keen on Chuka when they see what he has to say about tuition fees. Chuka rejects the “simplistic policy of scrapping all fees” as “wasting money”. Self-obsessed millennials probably won’t like the sound of his “Citizens’ Service” either…

There’s also lots of talk about overhauling “parliament’s culture and ways of working”, and Chuka confirms that he still wants to ban PMQs after his Twitter rants over the past few weeks. Would he really be saying that if he was currently leader of the Labour Party…?

Chuka also wants to abolish the physical House of Commons and replace it with one of the dire “horseshoe” shaped Parliaments they have in the EU. Unsurprisingly he also wants votes at 16 and the adoption of a form of proportional representation. It’ll only be a small step from there to the endless turgid coalition politics of the continent where everything is stitched up in backroom deals and voters are even more disconnected from the political class…

Even more problematic is Chuka’s proposal for state funding for political parties. How is this ever going to be divided up? Do parties get more funding if they’re larger, thus cementing their dominance. Or do buckets of taxpayers’ cash get handed over to fringe parties to give the likes of Gerard Batten’s UKIP the chance to bring far right views further into the mainstream? Whatever the issues with funding in politics, getting the state to decide how to hand it out is the worst possible solution…

TIGger Staff Exodus?

Some of the staffers of TIGger MPs seem to be unhappy with their boss’ decision to quit their respective parties. Both Chuka and Sarah Wollaston are advertising for new staff members in London, just weeks after having formed The Independent Group. Staffers are employed by individual MPs, so if an MP defects their staff have the tricky decision whether to stay or go…

In Chuka’s case, two of the six staffers he employed before he defected were paid for by external sources, one by an organisation called ‘Streatham Campaigns Ltd’, and one by the Labour Party. Hardly surprising Chuka has to advertise for more…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Chuka Uses the Royal We

Chuka appeared to use the royal we when thanking This Week for having him on the show last night. It’s unlike Chuka to be so self aggrandising like that…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Chuka on Labour’s “Rule By Fear”

Chuka: Why I Changed My Mind

Seven Labour MPs Resign and Form “The Independent Group”

Seven Labour MPs have announced their resignation from the Labour party and the formation a new group called “The Independent Group”. The seven are Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Anne Coffey. They have released a full ‘Statement of Independence’ explaining their decision…

Labour Split Imminent

After months and months of speculation about a Labour breakaway, it looks like today might finally be the day it happens, with a group of Labour MPs expected to make a statement on the “future of British politics” in the next few minutes. Speculation is rife about who the splitters will be – eight chairs have been set out at the launch event and there is a podium which has been covered up. Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie look like the most nailed-on bets…

Corbynistas have named Angela Smith, Ian Austin and Mike Gapes as three other likely quitters, although Ian Austin has reportedly since denied that he is quitting the Labour Party. Other potential Labour exiteers include Luciana Berger, Owen Smith, Peter Kyle, Stephen Kinnock and Liz Kendall. Read Guido’s full defection watchlist here…

Momentum Tease Chuka with Valentine’s Video

Momentum have released a tongue in cheek video begging Chuka to stay in the party this Valentine’s Day. Ironic considering how quickly the deselection train is chugging his way…

Labour Member Leading Berger Deselection Attempt is Israel Conspiracist Who Called Her “Disruptive Zionist”

Labour’s anti-Semitism problem has risen to the fore again with Labour members in Luciana Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree constituency tabling a motion of no confidence against her. Incredibly, John McDonnell has responded by pointing the finger of blame at Berger herself, eliciting disbelief from other senior Labour figures. Chuka branded it “totally unacceptable” and Shadow Cabinet Minister Angela Rayner has given Berger her “full support”. Labour’s official responses so far have been woeful…

It now emerges that the local Labour member who proposed one of the (two) no confidence motions, Kenneth Campbell, goes on regular rants about “traitorous Blairites” on Facebook, saying it is “about time [Berger] was exposed for the disruptive Zionist she is” and even claiming that Israel supports ISIS. In another rant he menacingly said that Laura Kuenssberg’s days are “nearing there [sic] end”:

When is Labour going to get serious about rooting out the rot of anti-Semitism that has infested the party?

H/t Harry’s Place

UPDATE: Both motions of no-confidence have been withdrawn by the local Labour Party and the extraordinary meeting has been cancelled…

Chuka’s Local Party Seized by Corbynites in Mass Meeting

Corbynites succeeded in seizing control of Chuka’s local Labour Party in Streatham last night, with local members turning out in their hundreds to a mass meeting in order to vote to change the model for participation at meetings, so that any member can vote no matter how long they’ve been in the party or whether or not they hold a position. They won. This is a big win for Corbynites and a big step towards deselection for Chuka…

The meeting was reportedly chaotic, with heckling, intimidation, and general confusion throughout the meeting. The final tally saw 190 members voting to change the system and 183 voting against – a knife-edge result of 50.9% – 49.1%, with victorious Corbynites gloating using the #ChuckChuka hashtag. They are desperate for the symbolic victory of pushing him out before he jumps to his new centrist party…

Momentum strategically began their deselection moves last year against Brexit-backing Labour MPs like Kate Hoey, Frank Field, John Mann, and Graham Stringer, thereby bringing some fanatical remain-voting Blairites on board the deselection train. Now their revolution is eating their own…

Chuka’s Local Party Making Deselection Moves This Evening

Streatham Constituency Labour Party is this evening holding a special all member meeting to vote on whether future meetings should be switched from a delegate based ‘General Committee’ structure to an ‘All Member Meeting’ structure, whereby any member can vote – a move recommended by Corbyn’s ‘Democracy Review’.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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