Eminent Leaders Emerging Personality of the Year 2011

Eminent Leaders Emerging Personality of the Year 2011

 Chuka Umunna – Member of Parliament UK

UK Member of Parliament

ChukaH. Umunna

As year 2011 runs to an end, the Editorial Board of Eminent Leaders magazinein its usual style has finally selected UK Member of Parliament, Chuka Umunna, as Eminent Leaders Emerging Personality of Year 2011. Chuka Harrison Umunna is therefore inducted into the Eminent Leaders Hall of Fame.

Chuka Umunna was identified as one of the ten young, gifted and black people in British politics by The Independent on Sunday in November 2007 and as predicted, he became a Member of Parliament representing Streetham on the platform of Labour Party 6th May, 2010 in the United Kingdom and now holds the post of Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, a position he assumed 7th October, 2011.

Chuka Umunna, who described himself as being “One Nation Labour” was sometimes described by The New Statesman magazine as ‘A Barack obama for Britain’ was one of the individuals selected by The Observer’s Newspaper in January 2009 Hotlist, as people set to make a mark in Britain.

Born in 1978 by a Nigerian father from the South Eastern part of the country and an English-Irish mother, Chuka Harrison Umunna is the first Member of Parliament representing Streetham to have grown up in the area and also the first Nigerian to get into British Parliament. Streetham is a parliamentary constituency which covers Streatham and parts of Clapham, Balham, Tulse Hill and Brixton.

He started his elementary education Hitherfield Primary School, Streetham, South London, and later moved to Christ Church C of E Primary School also in Streetham, South London.

He had his secondary education at St. Dunstan’s College in Catford in South-East London and proceeded to study English and French Law at the University of Manchester where he graduated with a Second Class Upper before moving to study at the University of Burgundy in France.

Prior to his election, Chuka, a grandson of High Court Judge, Sir Helenus Milmo, QC. Umunna, was an employment law solicitor by profession who started his legal career in year 2002 as a solicitor at Herbert Smith, an international law firm in the City of London where he acted for large companies before he moved in 2006 to the Central London law firm, Rochman Landau, where he this time acted for individuals and small and medium sized companies.

Chuka was Vice Chair of Streatham Labour Party from 2004 to 2008 and had held a variety of positions throughout the local party.  He was a member of the GMB and Unite trade unions and sits on the Management Committee of progressive pressure group – The Compass, before his election as one of the youngest MPs in the country. He was formerly a trustee of the Anthony Bourne Foundation and the 409 Project – both youth charities – and has also served as a school governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and Children’s Centre in Streatham.

Chuka, who often spoke in the media especially on The Daily Politics on BBC Two and Question Time Extra on BBC News 24 on employment issues, began to write and provide commentary on the Labour Party, economic, social and political issues since 2006 in his capacity as a member of the management committee of centre-left pressure group, Compass. He also wrote for the Financial Times, The Guardian, The New Statesman and Tribune is also the founder and former Editor of the online political magazine TMP, which focussed its activities on Labour Party supporting ethnic-minority Britons.


According to Wikipedia, “He challenged former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie for making remarks about former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the BBC’s Question Time television programme in October 2007, on which they were both panelists.


In May 2009, he was chosen to be part of a panel of ten figures from across the political spectrum addressing the question: How do we restore the reputation of Parliament? By The Independent following the expenses crisis.


In January 2010, he was named by The Independent as one the Labour politicians making the best use of microblogging website Twitter as a communication tool.”


Umunna delivered his maiden speech on 2 June 2010, highlighting the need for new school building projects in his constituency, and calling for better financial regulation of the banking sector.


Umunna has taken a particular interest in economic policy and reform of the City since entering Parliament. He was subsequently elected by his colleagues to serve on the prestigious Treasury Select Committee. In July 2010, Umunna had a heated exchange with Chancellor George Osborne over the Chancellor’s first Budget and its impact on the poorest in society at a Committee hearing. This was followed in November 2010 by a similar exchange with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. Umunna has argued that the coalition government should revise its programme of fiscal consolidation, take a tougher stance with the British banking industry and take action to transform the credit ratings agency market.


In January 2011, Umunna questioned the Chief Executive of Barclays Plc in relation to alleged tax avoidance activities by the bank during which he disclosed that the bank used over 300 subsidiary companies in offshore jurisdictions. In response to a question from Umunna, Bob Diamond wrote in February 2011 to say that Barclays had paid £113m in UK Corporation tax in 2009, during which it made £11.6bn profits worldwide.

Speak Your Mind