Profile of Chuka Umunna,his career and work.

Chuka Umunna was born 17th of October, 1978 to a Nigerian Father and English-Irish Mother, he was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, south London, at the voluntary aided Christ Church C of E Primary School (Cotherstone Road) in the Brixton Hill area of Streatham,and at the independent secondary school St. Dunstan’s College in Catford in south-east London. He obtained a 2:1 degree in English and French Law from the University of Manchester and then studied at the University of Burgundy in Dijon in France, and Nottingham Law School in  Nottingham.

 

Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna

Interest

Education, equality, and community and youth engagement.

Career

He trained at Herbert Smith the large “Magic Circle” City law firm: about his decision to join the firm he said “I wanted to join Herbert Smith because they were a big international firm, very much at the heart of the City, business and finance. Having entered thinking I wanted to be a hotshot corporate lawyer, I ended up wanting to become an employment lawyer because employment relates to people and their relationships. In 2006, he moved to the central London law firm, Rochman Landau, where he mainly acted for individuals and small and medium sized companies. As an employment lawyer, Umunna often spoke in the media on employment issues.

He is “Labour through and through” and says the Tories aren’t serious about equality, “despite what Cameron tries to say with his spin and presentation” and says the BSS is a very positive development, long overdue. But he warns that although Labour has traditionally represented Blacks: “We are in danger of falling behind on that if we don’t increase representation in the future. It’s not just about representation, it’s also about increasing out communities’ general participation in the political process. That’s something we must work on.”

Influence and motivation

At 27 Chuka Umunna has been in main street politics, Influenced by his father who is a died when he was 13. Chuka recalls moment with his father saying “It had a huge influence on my life. I had to grow up very, very quickly.” He added: “Politically my father had a big influence on me. He spoke out against the corruption in Nigeria, for better governance and got involved in politics in Anambra state. He narrowly missed out on winning the governorship of that state shortly before he died in a car crash. He lost because he refused to bribe anyone and was standing on an anti-corruption ticket.

Also motivating were his experiences while growing – In my youth I also often visited my father’s native Nigeria and came face to face with the extreme poverty one sees in Africa in the heart wrenching appeal videos produced by the likes of Oxfam and Comic Relief every year. I simply could not understand why some had so much, whilst others had so little. From there sprung a desire to do something about it and the other challenges we face.

 

he is presently a School Governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and sits on the Board of Sunnyhill Children’s Centre, both in Streatham Wells. He lives on Streatham High Road.

In addition, he sits on the Board of Generation Next, a not for profit social enterprise which provides activities for young people in London, and has been involved charitable youth work in Lambeth too.

He is a patron of Latimer Creative Media, a social enterprise which trains young people in digital media and a supporter of Cassandra Learning Centre, a charity raising awareness and working to stop domestic violence.

Prior to becoming Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Streatham, Chuka was Vice Chair of Streatham Labour Party from 2004 to 2008 and had held a variety of positions throughout the local party.

In the May 2010 general election, Chuka was elected to represent Streatham having received 20,037 votes, with the number of votes received by Labour rising from 18,950 in the previous general election in 2005. Turnout in Streatham increased by 11.5 percentage points at 62.8% compared with 51.3% in 2005.

He is a member of the GMB and Unite trade unions and sits on the Management Committee of progressive pressure group, Compass.

Since becoming an MP, he has been elected on to the Treasury select committee and become Ed Miliband’s parliamentary private secretary.

In October 2011, Chuka was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, replacing the Rt Hon John Denham MP who announced his resignation from Shadow Cabinet.

In this role, Mr Umunna leads the Opposition Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) team, leading for the opposition on a wide range of issues including business, enterprise, science and universities.

 

Contact

 Address

3a Mount Ephraim Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1NQ

Tel: 020 8769 5063

Email: chukka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk

Website: www.chuka.org.uk

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