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Chuka Umunna, "the unions' representative in Parliament", hits choppy waters

By Mark Wallace
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Chuka BullingdonI doubt today's Sun on Sunday was popular at Chuka Umunna's breakfast table. A leaked memo written by former Unite political director boasts of the influence the union has over Labour's business, regulation and wages policies.

By coincidence, the ultra-smooth Shadow Business Secretary and his Constituency Labour Party have received a whopping £47,000 from various unions over the last 5 years.

This is yet another addition to Chuka's growing reputation for being two-faced. He's cosying up to Tony Blair in public, wooing Labour centrists, while simultaneously taking a fortune from the unions and pushing Unite policy in Parliament. When someone claims to be a Blairite and a McCluskeyite at the same time, suspicions start to grow that they might not have any principles at all.

He reportedly secured the Streatham nomination by convincing a number of different cliques that he was their guy - but I suspect that trying to be all things to all men won't wash forever, and certainly not at a national level.

The Sun's leader column delivers a direct warning - something they only normally do if they intend to pursue an issue further:

"If he wants to live up to his reputation then he needs to stop acting as the unions’ representative in Parliament and start behaving as a man focused on helping business prosper."

It seems the glitter is starting to wear off "Britain's answer to Barack Obama". Will he change his ways, or stick to his tried and tested tricks?