Who I am

I'm the Liberal Democrat candidate in Cities of London & Westminster.

I was born in October 1978 to a Nigerian father and an English-Irish mother.

My father was 23 when he arrived in Liverpool in 1964. He had one suitcase and no money. He found a job as a cook in South London, then worked in a car wash.

My mother was a probation officer and in those early years she supported the family while my father built up his business. Later she set up a catering business, ran a market stall and then became a lawyer.

Who I am
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I grew up in Streatham before working in the City as a lawyer.

Before going to university I worked on a market stall at weekends with my mother and sister.

I studied Law at the University of Manchester and the University of Burgundy, as part of the Erasmus programme, followed by Nottingham Law School.

After training at a City law firm, I specialised as a solicitor in employment law acting for both employees and employers in Westminster and the City of London for just under a decade.

I've been a London MP since May 2010.

I'm very proud to have been elected as Streatham's MP in 2010, and I was re-elected with an increased majority in 2015 with 53% of the vote and 68.5% of the vote in 2017.

I served as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from October 2011 and I returned to the backbenches in September 2015.

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I have prioritised the issue of youth violence and sit on the Serious Violence Taskforce.

Knife crime and youth violence have blighted our communities in London, and too many young lives have been lost.

I am a Commissioner on the Youth Violence Commission, member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, and sit on the Home Office's Serious Violence Taskforce, which holds the Government to account over its serious violence strategy.

I have been campaigning for a public health approach to youth violence, which was successfully used in Glasgow to cut violent crime by 50%.

In the EU Referendum I campaigned for Remain.

I took a leading role in the Britain Stronger IN Europe campaign, and led the Labour IN for Britain campaign in London – making the case for Britain to stay in the EU.

Following the referendum, I set up Leave Watch to hold leading members of the Vote Leave campaign to account for their promises, and became Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations.

I also set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration to find ways of bringing our different communities together.

Chuka Umunna Labour MP for Streatham and Anna Soubry conservative MP for Broxtowe attend  The Public March To Demand A People's Vote On Brexit.
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I have liberal values and have supported the equalities, rights and freedoms of women, LGBT and BAME people.

I have social democratic and liberal values, and have taken strong action on equality issues.

Lambeth has the highest rate of domestic violence in England, which overwhelmingly affects women and children, and I have supported changes to Domestic Abuse legislation to protect and properly fund specialist support services for victims.

I've campaigned against degrading treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, and voted in favour of LGBT-inclusive Relationship and Sex Education in schools.

I am also a supporter of Prostate Cancer UK's public awareness campaign about the higher risk of the disease in black men, and supported the Windrush generation in the face of illegal deportations and discrimination by the Home Office.

In June 2019 I joined the Liberal Democrats

The Labour Party failed to provide opposition on Brexit, and developed a toxic culture of antisemitism and bullying, targeting anyone who disagreed with the leadership.

Ten other MPs and I had made the difficult decision to leave our parties and set up The Independent Group in Parliament – that group went on to form Change UK.

Following the local and European elections in 2019, it became clear to me that, for those of us who want to change our broken politics and share liberal progressive values, we must come together under one banner - that banner must be the Liberal Democrats.

Following the election of Jo Swinson as leader of the Liberal Democrats, I was appointed as the party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary and also lead on Trade.

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I'm a lifelong Crystal Palace supporter and have a keen interest in music.

I worked in the box office at Selhurst Park as a teenager, and have been a fan of Crystal Palace since I was young, having regularly attended matches there with my late father.

I am also a patron of the Palace for Life Foundation, the charitable arm of the club, who focus on working with young people in South London, helping them grow through the power of sport and find a better path in life.

I host an occasional radio show on Mi-Soul radio, am an ambassador for PRS Foundation who fund music projects across the UK for new and up and coming artists, and a patron of the Pegasus Opera Company, who create opportunities for young black singers from all backgrounds to develop and perform in innovative opera productions.

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Away from politics I spend my time with my wife and family.

We have a young daughter who was born in 2017. One of our favourite holiday spots is Cornwall where we often go to wind down.

At the end of a busy week there’s nothing I like more than a night in with the girls.

Who I am