“Growing up in Streatham has hugely shaped my politics”, said Chuka Umunna this week as media speculation continued about whether he could become the Labour party’s next leader.
The Streatham MP insisted it would be “arrogant” of him to talk about seeking the leadership should the party not win power under current leader Ed Miliband, but he failed to say he did not want the job.
At this week’s conference in Manchester, he laughed off suggestions about whether he was Britain’s answer to US President Barack Obama and replied: "As I always say I'm quite happy being Streatham's Chuka Umunna. That's good enough for me."
He added: "It would be incredibly arrogant for me or anyone else to say in two or three years time I would be the best person to lead this country. I feel deeply uncomfortable about that."
Mr Umunna, who is of Nigerian, English and Irish heritage: said of his background: "Growing up in Streatham has hugely shaped my politics."
"I'm a product of what London has become which is a multicultural, vibrant, energetic and fantastic city.
"And I’m immensely proud to be from London."
Mr Umunna was elected as Streatham’s MP in 2010, replacing former Labour MP Keith Hill, and has quickly risen up the ranks to become the party’s front-bench business spokesman.
He said during an election hustings, he brought up dealing with his father's death in a car crash, at the time surrounded by speculation in Nigeria.
He added: "I said actually I think the greatest achievement was that me, my mum, my sister managed to get through what was a really harrowing experience."
And in a more light-hearted moment while looking at its impact on his religion he remembered his days as a chorister at Southwark Cathedral.
He said: "I sang the theme tune Mr Bean with a lot of other choristers."
In a speech to the conference yesterday, Mr Umunna railed against the plight of the young and jobless in his constituency.
MP Umunna said since the coalition government took power firms had gone under with unemployment soaring beyond 2.5 million people.
He said: "In my constituency, long term youth unemployment has more than tripled in the last year.
"That is the price of their failed experiment."