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Chuka Umunna’s self-serving hypocrisy is emblematic of our broken politics

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“You can’t trust a word the Lib Dems say”: here is an entirely accurate summation tweeted to the world in 2013 by the new Liberal Democrat MP for Streatham, Chuka Umunna. Announcing his second defection in four months, Umunna last night posed alongside Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, whom he once astutely declared “can’t run away from his record as part of the Tory-led government or try to pretend Tory policies have nothing to do with the Lib Dems”. Just two years ago, he bitterly declared he “can’t forgive” what the Lib Dems have “done to my area”; indeed that he “could never countenance suggesting voters support Liberal Democratic or Conservative candidates on account of their Remain credentials – this would require turning a blind eye to the cuts to our local schools, the NHS and other public services instigated by both parties in government from 2010 to 2015”.

Everyone is entitled to shift their opinions: as John Maynard Keynes once put it, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” But what facts have changed about the Lib Dems since 2017? Both Cable and Jo Swinson, the frontrunner to replace him as leader, are unrepentant about the austerity they imposed on the country, and which Umunna all too recently passionately condemned them for. It gets better. At the end of April, a leaked document from Umunna’s Change UK revealed his then-party’s plans........

© The Guardian