No Skeletons". in My Closet NO Scandal about Drugs NO Secrets on My Sexuality; LABOUR LEADERSHIP BATTLE: CHUKA UMUNNA ON HIS SHOCK U-TURN

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 17, 2015 | Go to article overview

No Skeletons". in My Closet NO Scandal about Drugs NO Secrets on My Sexuality; LABOUR LEADERSHIP BATTLE: CHUKA UMUNNA ON HIS SHOCK U-TURN


Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY VINCENT MOSS Political Editor

BRUISED Chuka Umunna has dismissed rumours of a secret scandal in his personal life and insisted: "There are no skeletons".

The Shadow Business Secretary has been the subject of 48 hours of lurid speculation on social media since his shock exit from the Labour leadership race.

But the MP dubbed "Britain's Obama" hit back: "I've never had anything to hide."

In an exclusive interview, the former frontrunner declared he was "honest" about his experiences with drugs.

Mr Umunna, 36, also dismissed rumours about his sexuality and suggestions of any financial scandal but admitted running for the top job was "too much, too soon".

Speaking about his decision on Friday to quit the race to replace Ed Miliband, he said: "There is absolutely no skeleton, no information, scandal or otherwise that caused me to make this decision.

"The reason I made the decision is because of the impact it has had on my own life and, principally, the lives of the loved ones around me."

Asked if he feared a story involving drugs or his sexuality was about to emerge, Mr Umunna insisted: "No, no, no. When I've been asked about drugs I've been very open about that and other issues.

"Honestly, there is no revelation or no skeleton. You don't run for the leadership of a major political party in this country if there is some information you don't want to get into the public domain."

DOUBTS In 2012, Mr Umunna admitted he had smoked marijuana when he was a teenager but said he had never used harder drugs.

The politician became the bookies' favourite for the Labour top job after announcing his decision to run for the leadership in a video message on Tuesday.

But speaking in his Commons office just hours after the U-turn, Mr Umunna admitted he had felt downbeat in the aftermath of Labour's election disaster.

Mr Umunna said: "I've not enjoyed a single day of it. In fact, today has been the most enjoyable day since our defeat and I think that says something."

The Streatham MP said his decision was based on fears for his family if he became Leader of the Opposition.

He revealed a broadsheet newspaper approached girlfriend Alice Sullivan's parents and her 97-year-old gran "in the middle of their Sunday" at their home in Gloucestershire last weekend.

And on Thursday night, his mother Patricia returned to her South London home to find a reporter waiting on the doorstep. …

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