If the Labour Party takes power in the U.K. next week in what will be a very tight election, remember this name: Chuka Umunna.
And yes, there is a major Irish /Nigerian connection. Umunna, 37, is the closest British equivalent to Barack Obama, an immensely talented young black politician in a country where there are very few black legislators.
He is currently the Shadow Minister for Business and Enterprise and by all accounts is acquitting himself very well.
Like Obama, Umunna is of mixed race. His father Bennett was a member of the Nigerian Igbo tribe and died in a car accident in Nigeria in 1992.
His mother has deep Irish roots. Patricia Milmo is a lawyer and daughter of Sir Helenus Milmo, a former High Court judge who hailed from Ireland and was raised in an Irish-speaking area in Connemara. His full name was Helenus Padraig Seosamh (Gaelic for Patrick and Joseph).
During World War II, Sir Helenus Milmo was a member of MI5. He worked under Soviet master spy Kim Philby and was given the task of investigating him when suspicions arose. He concluded "that Philby is and has been for many years a Soviet agent. But the case remains unproven.”
Despite that blunder he went on to a distinguished career as prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials and later as a High Court judge.
His grandson was elected MP for Streatham in London after Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, desperate to see his party field minority candidates, spotted Umunna and developed his talent.
He first came to national prominence Obama-like in 2012 at the Labour Party convention when he had a dramatic impact following his conference speech. The Financial Times described him as “Chuka Umunna, the six foot tall, immaculately tailored former lawyer, strode through the detritus of political pamphlets and sleep-deprived party activists on his way to give his first speech from the platform. A small entourage followed, expectation buzzed around him.
“It was not exactly Obama at the Democratic convention in 2004... but the comparisons were inevitable.”
The Daily Mail, no fan of Labour Party politicians, dubbed Umunna the “black Tony Blair,” meaning he is ambitious and devious enough to go all the way to the top in the Labour Party.
Indeed, one of Umunna’s closest advisors is Blair and he recently met with Bill Clinton, his political idol. In a country where 15 percent of the population is non-white, a number that is growing dramatically, Umunna is seen as an heir apparent to the kind of “third way” politics of Blair and Clinton.
He already distinguished himself by being among the minority of Labour MPs who backed Ed Miliband for the leadership over Milliband's brother David, who Ed defeated very narrowly for the leadership after Gordon Brown stepped down.
If Labour wins Umunna will be awarded with a senior cabinet post in the new government. If Miliband loses he will be among the contenders to replace him.
Aged 37, a massive career lays ahead, including quite possibly becoming Britain's first ever-black prime minister. A black Irish prime minister where Churchill and Lloyd George once reigned?
Remember, few saw Obama coming either.