Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch (née Adegoke; born January 1980) is a British Conservative politician and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since the 2017 general election. Badenoch was born in Wimbledon, London to parents of Nigerian origin. Her childhood was spent in Lagos, Nigeria and the United States. She moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 16. After studying Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, she worked as a software engineer at Logica. Badenoch went on to work at RBS as a systems analyst before working as an associate director at Coutts and later as a director at The Spectator magazine.
In 2012, Badenoch unsuccessfully contested a seat at the London Assembly. Three years later, Badenoch was selected as a London Assembly member after Suella Braverman and Victoria Borwick declined their seats after being elected as MPs at the 2015 general election. She supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum. Badenoch was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden on 8 June 2017 following the retirement of former deputy speaker Alan Haselhurst, she became the first woman to represent that constituency.
Badenoch was born in January 1980 in Wimbledon, London to Femi and Feyi Adegoke. Her father is a GP and her mother is a professor of physiology. Adegoke's childhood included time living in the United States (where her mother lectured) and Lagos, Nigeria. She returned to the UK at the age of 16 and obtained A Levels from the Phoenix College in Morden, London while working at a branch of the fast food company McDonald's.
Adegoke studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex. She initially worked within the IT sector first as a software engineer at Logica (later CGI Group). While working there she studied part-time at Birkbeck, University of London and obtained a Law degree in 2009.
Adegoke then worked as a systems analyst at RBS, before pursuing a career in consultancy and financial services, working as an associate director of private bank and wealth manager Coutts and later a director at the conservative magazine The Spectator.
Adegoke joined the Conservative Party in 2005 at the age of 25. In 2010 she contested the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency against Labour's Tessa Jowell and came third behind Jowell, and Jonathan Mitchell (the Liberal Democrat candidate).
Two years later, Adegoke stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election where she was placed fifth on the London-wide list. The election saw the Conservatives win only three seats from the London-wide list, so Adegoke was not elected. Three years later, in the 2015 general election, Victoria Borwick was elected to the House of Commons and subsequently resigned her seat on the London Assembly. The fourth placed candidate on the list, Suella Fernandes, had also been elected to the House of Commons and declined to fill the vacancy. Badenoch (following her marriage in 2012) was therefore declared to be the new Assembly Member. She went on to retain her seat in the Assembly in the 2016 election. Badenoch supports a repeal of the ban on fox hunting.
Badenoch was elected as MP for the Saffron Walden constituency in the 2017 general election with 37,629 votes and a majority of a 24,966 (41.0%). She had also made the shortlist to be the Conservative Party candidate in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency. In her maiden speech on the 19 July, she described the vote for Brexit as "the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom" and cited her personal heroes as the Conservative politicians Winston Churchill, Airey Neave, and Margaret Thatcher. In the same month, Badenoch was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee. In September, she was appointed to the parliamentary Justice Select Committee. The following month, Badenoch was listed at Number 96 on Conservative political commentator Iain Dale's "100 most influential on the Right 2017".
She was appointed as the Conservative Party's Vice Chair for Candidates in January 2018. In April 2018, The Mail on Sunday obtained a video of an interview that Badenoch did with Core Politics, where she confessed to hacking into the website of a Labour MP in 2008. The MP in question was Harriet Harman, who was then Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Harman accepted Badenoch's apology, but the matter was reported to Action Fraud, the UK's cyber crime reporting centre.
Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 UK EU membership referendum. She voted for then Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal agreement in early 2019. In the indicative votes on 27 March, she voted against a referendum on a withdrawal agreement and against a customs union with the EU. In October, Badenoch voted for Johnson's withdrawal agreement. In the December general election, she was re-elected with an increased majority of 27,594 (43.8%) votes.
In February 2020, Badenoch was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) in the Department for International Trade. She has been a member of the Public Accounts Committee since March 2020.
Kemi is married to Hamish Badenoch and they have two daughters and one son. Hamish works for Deutsche Bank and was a Conservative councillor until May 2018 on the Merton London Borough Council. Badenoch was a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association until 2016, and was also previously a school governor at St Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark, and the Jubilee Primary School (both in London).
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- @KemiBadenoch (27 September 2019). "My husband and I are delighted to announce the birth of our third child, a baby girl born last week. We are thrilled and grateful for the love and support from family, friends, colleagues and constituents" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 March 2020 – via Twitter.
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- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Alan Haselhurst
| Member of Parliament
for Saffron Walden
| Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families
The Baroness Williams of Trafford
| Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities
| Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury|