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Chuka Umunna dismisses leadership challenge reports

Chuka Umunna speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1. Credit: BBC

Former shadow minister Chuka Umunna - once a favourite to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader - has dismissed reports that he was being lined up to challenge Mr Corbyn before the next general election.

"This issue of the leadership is settled, we don't need to be talking about this any more," the Streatham MP told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"We need to be working out how we win the next general election, because that's the way we put our values into practice."

Mr Umunna warned that Labour can only win an election as a "broad church" and cautioned against any move to punish those who have rebelled against Mr Corbyn.

"We've got to move on from this notion of crushing people who disagree with us," he said. "The strength of the Labour Party is that it is a broad church. Under our first-past-the-post electoral system ... you can only win if you are a broad church political party, and for the Labour Party you have to take in everyone from the left to the centre-left. If we don't do that, we are not going to be able to heal the divisions in society."

Umunna admits 'tension' between Labour members & MPs

Labour shadow minister Chuka Umunna has said there is “tension” between the Labour party membership and the parliamentary party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking on ITV's The Agenda, he acknowledged that Mr Corbyn has enthused many party members.

However, he said the party's MPs - some of whom are markedly more centrist than their leader - represent a much larger section of the electorate.

If you look at the research on things like Trident, the parliamentary party would be closer to the views of the voters than the members and there's that tension.

– Chuka Umunna

Mr Umunna, who previously stood for the party leadership, also refused to rule out running again.

"I would said I would never say never," he said, while adding that at the moment the question did not arise as there is no vacancy.

Watch in full on The Agenda on ITV at 10.40pm tonight.

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Big name Labour MPs 'escape before Corbyn speech'

Chuka Umunna is among the big name Labour MPs who have left Brighton before Jeremy Corbyn makes his first conference speech as party leader.

ITV News' Chris Ship said Tristram Hunt and Mary Creagh were also among the prominent backbenchers who departed early.

Chuka Umunna has not stuck around for the party's new leader. Credit: PA Wire

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Chuka Umunna: Strike reforms are a 'gagging bill'

Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has described the government's trade union reform plans as " the latest in a long line of attempts to stifle reasonable democratic scrutiny, protest and challenge".

He said: "The bill tries to drive a false wedge between government, industry, employees and the public by restricting rights – and at worst criminalising – ordinary working people, from midwives to factory workers to challenge low-pay or health and safety concerns.

“After muzzling charities and restricting access to justice this is the latest attempt to silence critics of this government and its policies.”

Umunna: 50p tax rate 'should be temporary'

A new 50p top rate of income tax for high earners proposed by Labour should only be a temporary measure, Chuka Umunna said.

Chuka Umunna at The Tetley Gallery in Leeds where Labour's launch of its campaign. Credit: Lynne Cameron / PA

Labour is committed to reintroducing the higher charge on those earning over £150,000 that was ditched by the coalition Government. But the shadow business secretary said how long to sustain the measure should be a purely economic decision and not a moral one.

He told the New Statesman magazine:

I wouldn't want to do it permanently because ... I would like to see the tax burden as low as possible. I don't believe that you tax for the sake of taxing: you tax to fund public services and, currently, to reduce our deficit and our debt.

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