Labour rising star and Nigerian-born UK Politician Chuka Umunna was accused of hypocrisy last night for accepting a £20,000 donation from a gambling tycoon after publicly demanding cuts in the number of betting shops.
Tories said the shadow business secretary was guilty of double standards for accepting the money from Neil Goulden.
Mr. Goulden is chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, the UK trade body and lobbying organisation for the industry
He is also chairman emeritus of the Gala Coral Group, one of Britain’s biggest bookmaking chains, which has two shops in Mr. Umunna’s South London constituency.
The Streatham MP has run a campaign to stop the spread of bookmakers, acknowledging ‘huge concern that some streets in our area are steadily filling up with betting shops and payday loan companies that take advantage of our community, rather than help us’.
In June his website revealed: ‘Chuka has developed a Streatham Strategy to help the High Road. It includes a temporary cut in VAT [and] new powers to control the number of betting shops’.
Yet last month he registered the donation to ‘support the office of Chuka Umunna in his capacity as shadow secretary of state for business, and for staffing’.
Earlier this year Mr. Umunna was forced to deny doctoring his Wikipedia page to include flattering comparisons with Barack Obama.
In April it emerged a change to the entry in 2008, which included a link to a flattering profile of him, had been made from a computer at the law firm where Mr Umunna worked before entering Parliament in 2010.
Mr. Umunna’s spokesman said the Labour frontbencher had ‘no recollection’ of changing his Wikipedia page, but offered no explanation of how it had come to be changed from his former place of work.
Reports subsequently revealed that in 2006 Mr. Umunna had protested that West End nightclubs ‘seem to be full of trash and C-list wannabes’.
Tory party vice-chairman Bob Neill said yesterday: ‘Can anyone really credibly ever believe anything Chuka Umunna says?
‘He says one thing in public and does another behind closed doors. His hypocrisy seems to be limitless.
‘The only thing we know he truly believes is that the capital is full of ‘‘trash’’ and ‘‘C-list’’ wannabes.’
A spokesman for Mr Umunna said: ‘This donation was made by an individual Labour Party supporter in a personal capacity, and was accepted in accordance with the rules and properly declared.’