Rising Labour star Chuka Umunna admits smoking cannabis in youth

UK – Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary, said he had smoked cannabis in the past but does not think confessing to having used soft drugs “is news anymore”. The 33-year-old rising star joins a long list of politicians, including former Chancellor Alistair Darling and US President Barack Obama, who have revealed a history of smoking marijuana. David Cameron has refused to answer questions about his own drug use during his youth. And Mr Umunna’s own party leader, Ed Miliband, claims he has never smoked drugs as he was “a bit square” at university. In contrast, the Streatham MP revealed this weekend that he used to want to be a DJ and briefly ran a club night in Brixton, south London. He admitted that during this time he “smoked soft drugs”. “It’s not something I’m proud of and I don’t think it’s news any more, to be honest,” Mr Umunna added in a newspaper interview this weekend. Asked which drug he smoked, Mr Umunna said: “Certainly nothing beyond marijuana. That industry is rife with it. That was a part of the industry I found unattractive.” He also spoke in the interview about his father, who arrived in Britain from Nigeria “with a suitcase and no money”, before building up a company from scratch. Mr Umunna revealed he had to “grow up very quickly” when his father died in a car crash in Nigeria after trying to run for political office in his home state. The MP, who is chairman of the London Gangs Forum, is currently fighting for more young gang criminals to start businesses because he saw how his father “managed to go from no money to being very successful”. He wants their “entrepreneurial zeal” to be channelled into companies rather than criminal gangs. The shadow business secretary argues that entrepreneurship is a good route to “social mobility”. “Their entrepreneurial zeal, used in a legitimate business setting, could provide them with a ladder up, just as it did for my father,” he said this week. “We must make legitimate business a more feasible avenue through which our young people can realise their dreams even when all else may have failed them.”

via : Telegraph

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