Streatham MP Chuka Umunna joins the Liberal Democrats

Lambeth Lib Dems are delighted to announce that Chuka Umunna has today joined the Liberal Democrats and will now represent Streatham constituency as a Lib Dem MP.

Chuka is the first Member of Parliament to cross the floor of the House of Commons to join the Liberal Democrats since 2001. He has been the MP for Streatham since 2010 and won 68.5 percent of the vote when re-elected in the 2017 General Election.

Commenting on his decision to join the Liberal Democrats, Chuka Umunna MP said: 

"I have chosen to join the Liberal Democrats because it is at the forefront of a renewed, progressive and internationalist movement in British politics that shares my values.

"I am convinced the Liberal Democrats, as the spearheard of a broader progressive movement in civil society, offer the best chance to improve the lives of those I represent as well as countless other citizens across our country.

"I'd like to thank both Vince Cable and all of Lambeth Liberal Democrats who have been incredibly open and welcoming. I'm really looking forward to working with them."

The Liberal Democrats have experienced a revival in Lambeth in 2019. In April, the party finished just 19 votes behind Labour in a local council by-election in Thornton ward, achieving a 27 per cent swing from Labour compared to the 2018 result. Then in the European elections in May, the Liberal Democrats topped the polls in Lambeth with 33 percent of the vote, ahead of Labour in second place on 22 percent.

Chuka Umunna MP with Helen ThompsonHelen Thompson, who is the Lib Dem Campaign Leader in Streatham, said:

“Stopping Brexit is the goal that matters more to me than anything, so I am extremely proud to welcome Chuka Umunna MP as our newest member of the Liberal Democrats. Chuka has for years been a consistent, compelling and high profile voice against Brexit. He is also a social democrat who agrees with us on core liberal issues, such as tackling inequalities that limit life chances for so many people.

“We welcome Chuka with open arms as our first Liberal Democrat MP for Streatham. I am looking forward to working closely with him to build on our fantastic success in the European elections.”

Notes to Editors:
1. Chuka Umunna MP is one of 20,000 new Lib Dem members who have joined the party since the local elections at the beginning of May 2019.

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2,000 EU citizens in Lambeth may have been denied the right to vote in European elections

As many as 2,000 non-UK EU citizens in Lambeth could have been denied their right to vote at Thursday’s polls, it has emerged. Stories flooded in across the country on 23rd May as EU citizens reported they were turned away from polling stations in the UK’s European elections.

Non-UK EU citizens living in the UK are obliged to fill in an extra form, the UC1 form to be allowed to vote in the UK. Some EU citizens in Lambeth reported missing the deadline to register because they received the form from Lambeth Council after the 7th May deadline had already passed.

However, even EU citizens who managed to return their forms in time were turned away at polling stations. Streatham Parliamentary Candidate Helen Thompson spoke to the Press Association and the Local Government Chronicle about the difficulties that Lambeth's EU citizens faced in registering to vote in these elections. 


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Lambeth turns yellow as Lib Dems capture one in three votes in Euro elections

On Sunday it was confirmed that the Liberal Democrats captured one in three (32.6%) of the votes in Lambeth, more than 10% ahead of the Labour Party (22.4%) who have traditionally seen the borough as a London stronghold.

These results come in the wake of widespread reports that up to 2,000 EU citizens across Lambeth may have been denied the right to vote.  


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Lib Dems call for Inquiry as Lambeth denies EU citizens right to vote

Lambeth Liberal Democrats are calling for an inquiry into Lambeth Council's handling of the upcoming European Parliamentary elections after it emerged that EU citizens received crucial voter registration forms after the deadline to apply had already passed.

EU citizens in the UK who want to vote in the UK’s European Parliamentary elections on 23rd May have to fill out a supplementary registration form. The deadline to submit the form was 7th May, but Lambeth Council’s letters to many EU citizens in the borough landed on doormats on 8th May.

“It’s bad enough that EU citizens were not allowed to vote in the EU referendum in 2016,” said Helen Thompson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Streatham Constituency, whose Spanish partner received the letter on 8th May.

“Now Lambeth Labour has stopped EU citizens from making their voice heard in the European Parliamentary elections, when they would have had the chance to show their support for the UK remaining in the EU by voting for pro-remain parties like the Liberal Democrats.”

Read the full story in Brixton Buzz

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Call for community support to combat harrassment at Lambeth abortion clinics

New measures to stop protestors targeting women outside Lambeth’s abortion clinics are on hold, the council has finally admitted, despite responses to a consultation being “overwhelmingly in favour” of the measures.

For years, women and girls using the Marie Stopes Clinic on Brixton Hill and the BPAS on Leigham Court Road, Streatham, have been subjected to the views of anti-abortion groups protesting directly outside the entrance to the clinics.

The protestors hand out leaflets with misleading information about abortion, and hold up graphic posters, aiming to dissuade women from using the clinics’ services. These activities violate women’s privacy as they enter the clinics and cause unnecessary additional distress at a time of high vulnerability.

In February 2018, Lambeth Council consulted on the possibility of bringing in a Public Space Protection Order to create a buffer zone that would mean women could enter the clinics without being approached by protestors or having to walk past distressing images.

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