Chuka Umunna: Stopping Brexit 'comes before everything else'

Monday, November 4, 2019

Chuka Umunna has maintained that stopping Brexit "comes before everything else" for the Liberal Democrats.

The Streatham MP said that although his constituency faced issues such as knife crime and overcrowded housing, Britain's exit from the EU remained his party's "number one priority".

"I look at the problems facing the constituents I represent at the moment... knife crime, overcrowded housing and an NHS that's underfunded. Brexit and the complete consumption it has taken up of the political bandwith has stopped us being able to deal with those issues," he told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"The point is you need a resolution of the whole issue. What we are proposing [stopping Brexit] will actually resolve that."

Mr Umunna batted away claims that his party had no other policies, and promised a "huge amount" of them would be revealed on the campaign trail ahead of the December 12 election.

"I don't accept that the party doesn't stand for anything other than Brexit," he added. "The party loves policy."

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson recently criticised ITV after the broadcaster did not invite her to participate in a live TV debate with fellow party leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.

Mr Umunna argued that it was "discriminatory, undemocratic" and "wrong" to leave Ms Swinson out of the debate, scheduled for November 19.

"She’s the only one of the three main parties who is a woman and two blokes have decided that they wish to exclude her from a debate," he said.

"In 2010, we had similar poll ratings and similar electoral performance going into that debate and the party leaders and the broadcasters agreed it should be a three-way affair. The only difference between then and now is we have a woman leader now and we had a male leader [Nick Clegg] then."

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