Watch: Chuka Umunna accuses Theresa May of acting like a 'Nigel Farage tribute act'

Written by David Singleton on 16 December 2015 in Diary


Shares in Chuka Umunna may have dropped recently, but the Labour MP today demonstrated his credentials as one of his party’s most effective attack dogs.

Umunna blasted Theresa May over her Conservative Party conference speech on immigration as the home secretary appeared before the home affairs select committee.

May was heavily criticised for saying high migration levels made a "cohesive society" impossible during her speech in October. Umunna told her today:

“In 2002 you lectured your party to stop demonising minority groups in society and you complained the people call your party the nasty party. And then you give this speech 13 years later that reinforces those stereotypes.

“Simon Walker, the head of the Institute of Directors, described your comments and the overall tone of that speech as 'irresponsible and pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment'.

"He's right - you're not some Nigel Farage tribute act. You are the home secretary.

"The language you used in that speech and the tone, I don't think was responsible or temperate - and that's what people expect of the home secretary. They might not expect it of Nigel Farage but they expect it of you."

A somewhat chastened May replied:

"You will not be surprised to hear Mr Umunna...that I do not agree with the way that you described that party conference speech."

She then told him sternly that she had a responsibility as home secretary to identify the impacts of "high, uncontrolled immigration" on society.




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