(MP) for Streatham since 2010 and the Shadow Business Secretary since 2011.
Early lifeUmunna, born in London in 1978, is mixed race. His father Bennett, who was a Nigerian of the Igbo ethnic group, died in a road accident in Nigeria in 1992. His Irish mother, Patricia, is a solicitor and the daughter of High Court judge Sir Helenus Milmo.
EducationUmunna was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, South London, and the Christ Church Primary School in Brixton Hill. His parents felt that the local state school had "given up on him" and so moved him to the boys' independent senior school St Dunstan's College, in Catford in southeast London, where he played the cello, and became Deputy Head Boy. During this period he was also a chorister at Southwark Cathedral.
He says that he "wouldn't rule out" sending his own (future) children to a private school if they were doing badly at a State school. He was awarded an upper second class LLB in English and French Law from the University of Manchester; after graduating he studied for one term at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, before studying for an MA at Nottingham Law School. He has said that his politics and moral values come from Christianity, but that he is "not majorly religious".
Legal careerHaving completed his studies in 2002, he began work as a solicitor at Herbert Smith in the City of London. In 2006 he joined Rochman Landau, specialising in employment law. From 2006 onwards, Umunna began to write and provide commentary on the Labour Party, as well as broader social and economic issues, usually in his capacity as a member of the Management Committee of the Labour-aligned Compass pressure group. He also wrote articles for the Financial Times, Tribune, The Voice, The Guardian and the New Statesman, and began to appear on various radio and television programmes as a commentator. He founded and edited the online political magazine, The Multicultural Politic. In 2007, he worked for John Cruddas' unsuccessful campaign to become Labour Deputy Leader.
Member of ParliamentIn March 2008, Umunna was adopted as the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Streatham. At the 2010 general election, he was elected Member of Parliament for Streatham with a 3,259 majority; he gave his maiden speech on 2 June 2010. He took a particular interest in economic policy and reform of the City.
Umunna has described himself as being "One Nation Labour" and has written articles promoting the Blue Labour trend.
Umunna has argued that the coalition government should revise its programme of fiscal consolidation, take a tougher stance with the British banking industry and take action to transform the credit ratings agency market. Umunna was one of 73 Labour MPs to nominate Ed Miliband in the 2010 Labour leadership election to find a successor to Gordon Brown.
Treasury Select CommitteeIn June 2010, he was elected to serve on the Treasury Select Committee. In January 2011, Umunna questioned the Chief Executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, in relation to alleged tax avoidance activities by the bank during which he disclosed that the bank used over 300 subsidiary companies in offshore jurisdictions. In response to a question from Umunna, Diamond admitted in February 2011 that Barclays had paid £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009, despite making £11.6bn in profit. He held this position until his appointment to Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise.
Parliamentary Private SecretaryIn October 2010, following Miliband's election, Umunna was appointed to serve as his Parliamentary Private Secretary, a position he held until his promotion to the Shadow Cabinet.
Shadow Minister for Small Business and EnterpriseIn May 2011, Umunna was appointed to the position of Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise until his promotion to the Shadow Cabinet.
Shadow CabinetUmunna was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary on 7 October 2011, replacing John Denham, who announced his retirement from front-bench politics. Following his appointment, Umunna re-affirmed Labour's commitment to introducing a graduate tax in place of university tuition fees if it wins the election due in May 2015. In January 2012, Umunna joined Ed Miliband and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves in calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to block a £1.6m bonus for Stephen Hester, the chief executive officer of the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group. During 2013, Umunna led claims that the Government's valuation of the Royal Mail during its privatisation had effectively "shortchanged" the taxpayer, a view supported by the significant rise in the share price following the sale and the subsequent summoning of bankers to a parliamentary investigation.
In early May 2014, Umunna led concerns in parliament and public over the proposed takeover of AstraZeneca, by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, on the grounds of ensuring British jobs and interests. Despite assurances from Pfizer, Umunna went on to publicly denounce the proposed takeover proclaiming that Pfizer's assurances were "not worth the paper they were written on". The takeover bid eventually fell through in late May 2014 after the Astra Zeneca board rejected Pfizer's final offer.
In May 2014, Umunna criticised the Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham's report into possible methods of restricting the sale and advertising of alcohol, unhealthy foods, and tobacco. He was quoted as having said that such courses of action as outlined in the report would be seen to be "anti-business and interventionist".