Umunna to take on Tories in new seat for Lib Dems

Chuka Umunna faces a tough task to remain an MP at the general election after being selected to fight the Tory-held Cities of London and Westminster seat for the Liberal Democrats.

The former Labour MP has represented Streatham since 2010 but the Lib Dems already have a candidate in place there.

Instead he will contest a seat in which his new party finished a distant third in 2017.

The constituency has been held by the Conservatives since it was created in 1950.

In 2017 Mark Field held it for the Tories with a majority of 3,148 over Labour and 13,735 votes ahead of the third-placed Lib Dem candidate.

Mr Umunna joined the Lib Dems in June, having left Labour as part of the breakaway Independent Group in February.

He said: “On joining the Liberal Democrats this year I did not demand nor did I expect any special treatment, I simply indicated I wanted to do all I can to help with the general election whenever it arrived.”

He said he would be “sad to end my time as the Member of Parliament for Streatham but in Helen Thompson, Streatham Liberal Democrats already had an excellent and incredibly hard-working parliamentary candidate when I joined the party”.

Mr Umunna said the issue of Brexit would be the key factor in the seat at the election.

“The most recent publicly available polling in the seat shows that at the next election it will be a contest between Boris Johnson’s incumbent Tory MP and the Liberal Democrats.

“I will fight tooth and nail with our members, supporters and the wider community to take this battle to Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave Government – in the constituency where the Prime Minister lives – and ensure it is represented by a Remainer committed to stopping Brexit and improving the lives of all of its people.”

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