Helen Thompson issued the following statement following the news today that Chuka Umunna will not stand in Streatham in the next General Election:
Today Chuka Umunna MP announced his intention to stand in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency at the next general election. As Chuka has decided not to stand again in Streatham, I will resume my role as Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Streatham.
Streatham constituency has been a bellwether for the upsurge of support for the Liberal Democrats this year. Even before the party’s major successes in local elections across the country in May, we saw the sea-change happening in Streatham. In the Thornton by-elections in early 2019, we saw our vote increase from 8% last year to 40% in April this year. We went on to win the European elections convincingly, well ahead of Labour. Four in five Streatham residents voted to remain, and I am confident that the Lib Dems as the strongest Remain party can win this seat in a general election.
Since Chuka joined the party, I have been working with our local team to build our strength to support his work in Streatham, and I would have been pleased to lead his campaign at the next General Election. I know that many constituents greatly admire Chuka’s relentless advocacy for our position in the EU and will be sorry to see him stand down as our local MP. I too am sorry to see him go, but I wish him success in his mission to unseat Mark Field MP, who has deserted the wishes and interests of his constituents by voting with Boris Johnson’s no-deal government.
I left my career as a civil servant two years ago so that I could join the Lib Dems and fight Brexit. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, and so it is an honour and a great responsibility to represent the Liberal Democrats in a General Election. If I’m elected MP for Streatham, I will be a consistent and committed voice for the many benefits of remaining in the EU. At the same time I will continue my local campaigning with residents to create change in Streatham on the major issues facing our community, including access to education and youth services, providing housing for everyone, cleaning up our air and reducing our impact on the environment.
[Image: Helen Thompson, left, with Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson]