Chuka Harrison Umunna is a Member of the British Parliament representing the Labour Party and the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He is the first person of Nigerian descent to be a member of a UK Shadow Cabinet.
He was born on October 17, 1978 to an Igbo father and British mother in Streatham, London (the constituency he represents in Parliament). His father is from from Awka, the capital of Anambra State. Umunna earned an LLB in English and French Law after studying at the Universities of Manchester and Burgundy, and later gained a master's degree from Nottingham Law School.
He was elected MP in 2010 and joined the Shadow Cabinet in May 2011 as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise before becoming the Shadow Business Secretary in October of the same year. During his tenure he has focused on policy topics such as university tuition fees and banking sector reforms.
Before entering politics, Umunna worked as an employment lawyer representing both individuals and companies while also publicly writing and speaking on various social and economic issues. He has also taken on a number of charitable roles with a focus on young people, including trusteeships of the Anthony Bourne Foundation and the 409 Project. He served as a school governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and Children’s Centre in Streatham. He is a member of Compass, the Fabian Society, GMB and Unite. Umunna is a patron of Latimer Creative Media, a social enterprise which trains young people in digital media and a supporter of Cassandra Learning Centre, a charity raising awareness and working to stop domestic violence. He is currently a board member of the Generation Next Foundation, which sponsors activities for London-based youth.
Watch Umunna's speech at the 2012 Labour Party Conference