Wales politics

Labour 'shedding' ethnic minority votes, Chuka Umunna warns

Chuka Umunna Image copyright PA
Image caption Chuka Umunna is addressing Unison's National Black Members' conference in Llandudno on Saturday

Labour has not got a "hope in hell" of holding on to its current number of seats if it continues to lose votes from black and Asian voters, Chuka Umunna has warned.

In a speech in Llandudno, Conwy county, the MP said the party has given the impression it took support from ethnic minorities for granted.

It has seen a big fall in support among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.

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Media captionLabour are "dramatically losing ethnic minority support", Chuka Umunna MP tells BBC Radio Wales

Almost one in three BME voters backed the Conservatives at the last election.

Some one million ethnic minority voters "helped put David Cameron in Downing Street" last May and Labour has no chance of winning in 2020 if the trend continues, Mr Umunna told union Unison's National Black Members' conference.

'Shedding votes'

"In spite of all we have delivered, too often we have given the impression that we take our ethnic minority communities' support for granted. We cannot afford to do this," said Mr Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham.

"Evidence from last year's general election suggests we are shedding votes from different ethnic minority communities to the Tories.

"And we have not a hope in hell of retaining all our current seats, let alone make any enough gains and winning the next general election if we continue to lose ethnic minority votes at this rate."

Tory support from ethnic minority voters at the general election jumped to 33% from 16%, the same percentage that Labour lost, Mr Umunna will say.

The surge in support was the best result in the Conservative Party's history and the fall in Labour backing should have set "alarm bells ringing", he told the conference.

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