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'Britain needs Chuka!'

SMART: Chuka Umunna

LADIES AND gentlemen, here is the next leader of the Labour party: Mr Chuka Umunna MP.

The hottest thing to hit Parliament since sliced bread. And women MPs agree; they've voted him ‘the thinking woman's six packer’. But Chuka doesn't just look good, he sounds good too, and says all the right things for a future Labour party leader when the ineffectiveness of Ed Miliband becomes too much to stomach.

Chuka, Labour's current Shadow Business Secretary (a meteoric rise for someone who was elected in May 2010) displayed all the attributes of a party leader-in-waiting with his sure-footed performance on BBC’s Newsnight the other night.

Even though Jeremy Paxman was as guilty as many other journalists in not pronouncing the man's name right. Honestly, one hears as many pronunciations of the Streatham MP’s Nigerian name as one sees spelling of Gaddafi, I mean Gaddaffi... sorry, that's supposed to be Kadaffi... or is that Qadaffi?

Chuka's the real deal. You don't need to take my word for it, see for yourself. Or ask any of the politicians or political analysts.

Of course, Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote (OBV) dubbed him “Our Obama" as far back as three years ago. I remember it well. It was the night of Barack Obama's election victory. OBV hosted the best party in town (London) for the occasion. Many of the top politicians were there, including the deputy leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman.

Simon introduced the slightly embarrassed young Labour party candidate for Streatham (as he was then). As uncomfortable as it may make him, ‘Britain's Obama’ is a cross he will have to carry, because he is the equivalent. It is long overdue for someone like Chuka to lead this country. Not because he is black, but because he is ultra-intelligent, quick-witted, smart (you have to look the part), and he has the common touch. He is a genuine people's person. And, yeah, his colour is the icing on the cake.

My children would definitely benefit from Chuka becoming leader, and so would yours. Everybody's children would.

But is Britain ready for a black prime minister? I have no doubt that Chuka will be the next Labour leader if Ed Miliband is allowed to see out his post to the next election. Chuka could do with four more years to hook up the connections he's got to hook up all over the country to elevate him into the top position.

As we saw from the election of Ed rather than David Miliband, Chuka's got to get the unions on his side. Now is the time for the black community to start planting the seeds on his behalf if it wants him to represent.

If you want to make it happen, you have to go out in your local communities, in your places of employment and on the streets, and start spreading the news: Britain needs Chuka Umunna.

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