LEADERSHIP BID: Chuka Umunna
Chuka Umunna has announced he will be running for Labour leadership in a video posted on Facebook.
In the short clip, shot in the high street in Swindon, where the Conservatives launched their manifesto, the shadow business secretary said he had travelled out of London to announce his bid because it was the kind of place the party needed to be winning.
“I’m pleased today to be announcing that I will be running for the leadership of the party,” the Streatham MP said. “I think we can and we should be winning in seats like in Swindon, north, south, east, west, we can definitely do it as a party.”
He said rebuilding Labour was not a 10-year job but could be done in five years.
“I think the Labour Party can do it in five years and I want to lead that effort as part of a really big Labour team, getting Labour back into office and changing this country and building a fairer and more equal society. That’s why we all joined the Party in the first place.”
Speculation had been rife that Umunna would announce his bid for leadership after Ed Miliband quit following the party’s insurmountable defeat at the polls.
Umunna was the first of Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet to come out and criticise the campaign, saying it failed make an "aspirational offer" to "middle income voters".
Speaking at the weekend, he said: "We cannot have a message that anybody is too rich or too poor to be a part of our party.
"What the Labour Party does well is build a big tent of people of different backgrounds, creeds, colours, races, religions, economic circumstances. And it is when we have an offer that is a big tent and appeals to a lot of people, that’s when we win."
He is one of the favourites for the top job and is the second to throw his hat into the ring behind shadow care minister Liz Kendall.
Tottenham MP David Lammy, who admitted he would consider a leadership bid if colleagues wanted him, yesterday confirmed that he would be focusing on his ambition to become Mayor of London.
He told BBC2's Daily Politics show: "I am not going to be standing for the Labour leadership because I think we need a leader that can win back the Midlands and understand Scotland, as well as the South.
"My strengths are in London and the south and therefore I want to be the Labour candidate for mayor."
The next leader will have to play a vital role in shaping the party as it rebuilds itself in the wake of Thursday’s painful election defeat.