Go back

Rising Labour star takes shadow business role

Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, has been named shadow business secretary.

Umunna takes over the job of shadowing the business, innovation and skills secretary, Vince Cable, from the former science minister and MP for Southampton, John Denham.

Announcing the appointment on the social networking site Twitter, Umunna said, “For me the move to Shadow BIS Sec is less about me and more about how we get growth back and build a new better economy for all.”

Umunna, 32, was part of the new intake of MPs in 2010 and previously served as shadow minister for small business & enterprise. He formerly worked as an employment law solicitor and is a member of the Compass pressure group, the Fabian Society, the unions GMB and Unite, as well as various not-for-profit organisations.

In a statement on 7 October Denham said he was standing down from the shadow cabinet after 30 years in politics. He confirmed that he would not be standing at the next general election.

In a letter to Labour leader Ed Miliband, Denham said that he hoped someone available to “serve as minister in the next government” would fill the role of shadow business secretary.

Denham will become a parliamentary private secretary for Miliband, the letter stated.

Meanwhile, five MPs from the 2010 intake have been promoted, including Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, who becomes shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

As part of the reshuffle, Ivan Lewis was moved from shadow culture secretary to take on the international development brief, and Andy Burnham moved from education to health, the portfolio he held at the end of the last Labour government.

Returning MP Stephen Twigg will replace him on the education brief.

“My decision to appoint half-a-dozen members of the 2010 intake shows the talent that Labour has and the way in which this new generation can join us in taking Labour’s agenda forward,” said Miliband in a statement.

The Labour Party conference last month voted to change party rules so that the leader could select his own shadow cabinet, rather than appoint those elected by the party.