Chuka Umunna says it's 'highly unlikely' he will become Labour leader: 'I'm not sure the party would have me to be honest'

UK

Chuka Umunna has said he is unlikely to run to be Labour leader because he does not believe the party members would elect him.

The Streatham MP said he was not interested in taking over from Jeremy Corbyn “at the moment”, because he was “not sure the Labour Party would have me”.

He initially put himself forward during the 2015 Labour leadership contest but withdraw days later, citing media instruction into his private life.

Mr Umunna was speaking at The Independent’s Brexit debate, alongside Andrea Leadsom, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Grieve, Gina Miller and John Mills.

Asked if he would seek his party leadership if he thought there was a time when Mr Corbyn stepped down, he replied: “Well he’s probably not going to be there in 100 years. I think is unlikely to be happening any time soon, and certainly not before the date of departure from the European Union.”

“Not at the moment no. It’s less a question of whether I fancy a crack at it – I’m not sure the Labour Party would have me, to be quite frank.”

He also defended himself over the fact he had a different view on Brexit to that of his party leadership. Mr Umunna has repeatedly called on Mr Corbyn to soften his Brexit stance and support keeping the UK in the EU single market. He is also a supporter of the campaign for a “People’s Vote” on the final Brexit deal negotiated with Brussels.

He said: “Both of the main parties are divided on this issue. In many respects it would be weird if we weren’t because we’re supposed to reflect the country and the country is divided on this issue.”

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