Friday 13 December 2019 7:45 am

Chuka Umunna loses race for City of London seat

Chuka Umunna has failed in his bid for the City of London seat after losing to the Tories, marking a further blow on a bad night for the Liberal Democrats.

The former Labour MP, who defected to the Lib Dems after a brief stint with Change UK, came second in the race for the Cities of London and Westminster behind Conservative Nickie Aiken.

Read more: Nickie Aiken: Change is coming to the two cities

Umunna won 13,096 votes, almost 4,000 behind his Tory rival. Labour candidate Gordon Nardell came in third place with 11,624 votes.

Umunna, who was once tipped as the next Labour leader but left the party after a fierce row over the party’s stance on Brexit and shift to the left, will now face uncertainty over his future.

“We must respect the choice the people have made today, both to re-elect Boris Johnson and the Conservatives into government, and for Labour to continue as the official opposition,” Umunna said in a statement following the results.

“I wish them the very best – it is in all our interests that they live up to the trust invested in them today.”

He said the Lib Dems still had a “vital role” to play for the “liberal, internationalist, pro-European, progressive, centre-ground of British politics”.

“We will live to fight another day and learn from what has happened these last few months.”

Tory victor Aiken replaced former minister Mark Field this summer after after he was accused of assault by a Greenpeace activist.

Aiken is a staunch Remainer, but unlike her rival has vowed to deliver Brexit to end the “paralysis” the delay has caused.

Last month she praised Boris Johnson for his One Nation Conservatism, saying this reflected her views.

Read more: Boris Johnson says NHS is his number one priority in election victory speech

“Whatever people think about Boris’ Brexit stance, he is a One Nation Tory, just like me,” she told City A.M. “Under him we will see a different Britain, and it will be a better one.”

It came as the Tories secured a resounding majority, while Jo Swinson stepped down after narrowly losing her seat on a bad night for the Lib Dems.