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Shadow Business Secretary visits local businesses

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna visited Streatham high street, in south London today as part of his campaign to support independent retailers. The campaign he named "Independent's Day", encouraged shoppers to buy at least one thing from a local shop.

Business Secretary Chuka Umunna with shop owner Naveed in Streatham. Credit: Twitter/@ChukaUmunna
Chuka Umunna promotes "Independent's Day" campaign for local businesses. Credit: Twitter/@ChukaUmunna

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  1. National

Tory MPs criticise Chuka Umunna's comments

Several Tory MPs have criticised Chuka Umunna over comments he made in 2006, describing London's nightclubs as "full of trash".

Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, said: "The secret life of Chuka Umunna has been exposed. In public he likes to portray himself as a man of the people. Yet we know in private he has a lack of respect for the public.

"Chuka, or should I say Harrison, has been outed as the ultimate champagne socialist who revels in living the high life, brands the public C-list celebrities and trashes our capital city.

"You can't get more out of touch than that."

Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, added: "Chuka, like many Labour MPs before him, loves the glitzy wealthy lifestyle, only in secret! If you've worked for it and earned it why would you need to hide it? Or is it because it doesn't go down well with his anti-enterprise lefty Leader?"

  1. National

Labour MP 'accepts that words were not appropriate'

A spokesman for Chuka Ummuna has apologised if "lighthearted" comments the shadow minister made in 2006 caused offence.

The spokesman told the Daily Mail: "Though his user account on the site still exists, he has not posted a thread on the site for many years, since long before he was elected as a Member of Parliament."

"In terms of the post from 2006, these were comments made on a private social network well over half a decade ago.

"Though light-hearted in tone and context, and made long before he became an MP, Chuka accepts the choice of words used were not appropriate and apologises if any offence may have been caused."

London MP sorry for London jibe

A senior Labour MP has apologised for any offence caused by a complaint that the Capital's nightclubs were "full of trash".

Mr Umunna made the comments on an invitation-only website for the wealthy. Credit: ITN

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna made the comments on an exclusive social network website aimed at "the world's tastemakers".

The shadow business secretary, who posted on the invitation-only site using his middle name Harrison, reportedly complained about the lack of "decent" clubs in the capital.

It has been reported that in 2006 he wrote: "Most of the West End haunts seem to be full of trash and C-list wannabes, while other places that should know better opt for the cheesy vibe.

In another post on ASmallWorld, which targets wealthy globe-trotting "jetrosexuals", Mr Umunna called for advice on "what's hot right now" in Miami.

Mr Umunna has not posted a message on the site since he became MP for Streatham, South London, in 2010 and a spokesman for the politician apologised if the "light hearted" comments caused offence.

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Gangs "show entrepeneurial zeal"

Young gang members display "entrepreneurial zeal" in their criminal activities and should be encouraged to start their own businesses.

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna says teenagers involved in street crime demonstrate high levels of business acumen that could be put to good use.

In a speech in Westminster, the shadow business secretary will say the way gangs build their own "brand" through the internet shows a sense of enterprise that despite being "shocking", needs to be redirected and positively harnessed.