Kemi Badenoch

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Kemi Badenoch
Official portrait of Mrs Kemi Badenoch crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities
Assumed office
16 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byLuke Hall
Minister for Women and Equalities[a]
Assumed office
14 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byThe Baroness Williams
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 February 2020 – 16 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded bySimon Clarke
Succeeded byHelen Whately
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families
In office
27 July 2019 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byNadhim Zahawi
Succeeded byVicky Ford
Member of Parliament
for Saffron Walden
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded byAlan Haselhurst
Majority27,594 (43.7%)
Member of the London Assembly
as the 4th Additional Member
In office
5 May 2016 – 8 June 2017
Preceded byGareth Bacon
Succeeded bySusan Hall
Member of the London Assembly
as the 9th Additional Member
In office
16 September 2015 – 5 May 2016
Preceded byVictoria Borwick
Succeeded byShaun Bailey
Personal details
Born
Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke

(1980-01-02) 2 January 1980 (age 41)
Wimbledon, London, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Hamish Badenoch
(m. 2012)
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
Birkbeck, University of London
WebsiteOfficial website

Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch (/ˈbdnɒk/ BAYD-nok;[1] née Adegoke; born 2 January 1980)[2] is a British politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017.[3] A member of the Conservative Party, she has served in Boris Johnson's second government as Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities and Minister for Women and Equalities since the September 2021 reshuffle.

Badenoch was born in Wimbledon, London, to parents of Nigerian origin. Her childhood was spent in part in the U.S., and in Lagos, Nigeria. She returned to the United Kingdom at the age of 16. After studying Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, Badenoch worked as a software engineer at Logica. She went on to work at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group 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 on the London Assembly. Three years later, she was selected as a London Assembly member after a vacancy arose following Victoria Borwick's election as an MPs at the 2015 general election. Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum. She was elected as the 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 served as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities at the Government Equalities Office from 2020 to 2021. In September 2021, she was promoted to Minister for Women and Equalities and was appointed Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities.

Early life[edit]

Badenoch was born in 1980 in Wimbledon, London, to Femi and Feyi Adegoke.[4] Her father is a GP and her mother is a professor of physiology.[5] Badenoch's childhood included time living in the United States (where her mother lectured) and Lagos, Nigeria. Whilst in Nigeria she was fortunate to attend the fee paying International School University of Lagos and happily describes her time as a middle-class Yoruba school girl. Badenoch holds British citizenship owing to her birth in the United Kingdom.[6][7] She returned to the UK at the age of 16 to live with a friend of her mother's.[8] She obtained A Levels from the Phoenix College in Morden, London, while working at a branch of the fast food company McDonald's.[9][10]

Badenoch studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex.[11][12] 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.[5] Badenoch then worked as a systems analyst at RBS,[13] 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.[12][14]

Political career[edit]

Badenoch joined the Conservative Party in 2005 at the age of 25.[15][16] 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).[17]

Two years later, Badenoch stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election where she was placed fifth on the London-wide list.[18] The election saw the Conservatives win only three seats from the London-wide list, so Badenoch was not elected.[19] Three years later, in the 2015 general election, Victoria Borwick was elected to the House of Commons[20] 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,[21] and declined to fill the vacancy. Badenoch (as she became, following her marriage in 2012) was therefore declared to be the new Assembly Member.[22] She went on to retain her seat in the Assembly in the 2016 election.[23] Badenoch supports a repeal of the ban on fox hunting.[24]

Badenoch was elected as MP for the Saffron Walden constituency in the 2017 general election with 37,629 votes and a majority of 24,966 (41.0%).[6][25] She had also made the shortlist to be the Conservative Party candidate in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.[26] In her maiden speech on 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.[27][non-primary source needed]

In the same month, Badenoch was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee.[28] In September, she was appointed to the parliamentary Justice Select Committee.[29] The following month, Badenoch was listed at Number 96 on Conservative political commentator Iain Dale's "100 most influential on the Right 2017".[30] She was appointed as the Conservative Party's Vice Chair for Candidates in January 2018.[31] 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.[32][33] 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.[34][35]

In July 2019, Badenoch was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.[36][37]

Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 UK EU membership referendum.[6] 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.[38] In October, Badenoch voted for Johnson's withdrawal agreement.[39] In the December general election, she was re-elected with an increased majority of 27,594 (43.7%) votes.[40][41]

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.[42] She has been a member of the Public Accounts Committee since March 2020.[43] In a Black History Month debate in the House of Commons in October 2020, she reiterated the government's opposition to primary and secondary schools teaching white privilege and similar "elements of critical race theory" as uncontested facts.[44]

Badenoch published a series of tweets in January 2021 in which she included screenshots of questions sent to her office by HuffPost journalist Nadine White who she, as a result, accused of "creepy and bizarre behaviour". White subsequently had to make her Twitter account private due to the abuse she received.[45] Badenoch's actions were criticised by both the National Union of Journalists and the Council of Europe's Safety of Journalists Platform.[46][47] She was defended by the prime minister's press secretary who commented that it was all a "misunderstanding".[48]

In March 2021, Badenoch was encouraged to 'consider her position' as an Equalities minister by Jayne Ozanne, one of a group of three government LGBT advisers who quit their roles due to the failure of the government to ban conversion therapy, with Ozanne describing a speech by Badenoch on the issue as being 'appalling' and the 'final straw'.[49]

During a debate in the House of Commons in April 2021, Badenoch criticised the Labour Party's response to a report compiled by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which had declared Britain was not institutionally racist. Labour had described the report as "cherry-picking of data", while the party's former frontbench MP Dawn Butler claimed the report was "gaslighting on a national scale", describing those who put it together as "racial gatekeepers."[50] Badenoch accused Labour of "willful misrepresentations" over the report and responded to Butler's comments by stating "It is wrong to accuse those who argue for a different approach as being racism deniers or race traitors. It's even more irresponsible, dangerously so, to called ethnic minority people racial slurs like Uncle Toms, coconuts, house slaves or house negroes for daring to think differently."[51][52]

ConservativeHome readers voted Badenoch's speech on critical race theory 2020 "speech of the year", in which she said that any school that teaches "elements of political race theory as fact, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views, is breaking the law". [53] In August 2021, she was tipped as favourite to succeed Gavin Williamson as Secretary of State for Education.[54] In September 2021, Vice News said that they had received leaked audio from 2018 where Kemi Badenoch mocked gay marriage, referred to trans women as "men" and used the term transsexual.[55][56]

Personal life[edit]

Kemi is married to Hamish Badenoch; they have two daughters and a son.[57][58] Hamish works for Deutsche Bank[6][41] and was a Conservative councillor from 2014 to 2018 on Merton London Borough Council, representing the Village ward (centred on Wimbledon Village).[59][60]

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).[13][61]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (2020–21)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pupil Parliament: Kemi Badenoch MP reacts to New Hall School, Chelmsford". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  2. ^ Brunskill, Ian (19 March 2020). The Times guide to the House of Commons 2019: the definitive record of Britain's historic 2019 General Election. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-00-839258-1. OCLC 1129682574.
  3. ^ "Exclusive: Kemi Badenoch selected in Saffron Walden". Conservative Home. 2 May 2017. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  4. ^ Badenoch, Kemi (Who's Who, online ed.). A & C Black. 1 December 2016. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U287245. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A View from the Top: Kemi Badenoch, the 'Nigerian oil boom baby' and Tory MP who sees Brexit as a golden opportunity". The Independent. 31 August 2017. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Urwin, Rosamund (14 June 2017). "Kemi Badenoch: I'm black but I'm also a woman, a mum and an MP". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Daily Mail: Meet the MP who is fiercely proud to be British".
  8. ^ "Kemi Badenoch — Birkbeck, University of London".
  9. ^ "The culture of low expectations: Kemi Adegoke at TEDxEuston". TEDxEuston. 25 February 2011. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Kemi Badenoch" (PDF). Birkbeck College. p. 1. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  11. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (6 May 2017). "'Theresa factor' credited with surge in women candidates as party looks set to make history by securing more women MPs than ever before". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b Lodge, Will (2 May 2017). "Conservative general election candidate to replace Sir Alan Haselhurst in Saffron Walden seat named as Kemi Badenoch". Saffron Walden Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Theme: Our destiny in our hands". TEDxEuston. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Kemi Badenoch (past staff)". London.gov.uk. Greater London Authority. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  15. ^ Quinn, Ben (10 June 2017). "Westminster's new intake – with some notable firsts". The Observer. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  16. ^ Gimson, Andrew (21 December 2017). "Interview: Kemi Badenoch – "I'm not really left-leaning on anything...I always lean right instinctively"". Conservative Home. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Election 2010 - Constituency — Dulwich & West Norwood". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Every candidate in the London Assembly and London mayoral elections: get the data". The Guardian. 1 May 2012. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  19. ^ "London Assembly Results". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Kensington". UK Polling Report. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Fareham". BBC News. 7 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  22. ^ "New Assembly Member appointed". London Assembly. 16 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Results 2016". London Elects. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Kemi Badenoch". Saffron Walden Conservatives. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Saffron Walden". BBC News. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  26. ^ Luckhurst, Phoebe (4 May 2017). "Meet London's new generation of Conservative MPs". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Exiting the European Union: Sanctions: Volume 627: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2017". Hansard. UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  28. ^ Wallace, Mark (18 July 2017). "1922 Executive Committee election results announced. Two new MPs join it – Badenoch and Lamont". Conservative Home. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Membership — Justice Committee". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  30. ^ Dale, Iain (2 October 2017). "Iain Dale's 100 most influential people on the Right 2017. May tops it. Davis is second. And Davidson third". Conservative Home. Archived from the original on 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  31. ^ Hope, Christopher (8 January 2018). "Novice Tory MP Kemi Badenoch put in charge of selecting Conservative candidates for 2022 general election". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  32. ^ Levesley, David (8 April 2018). "Kemi Badenoch admits she hacked a Labour MP's website to 'say nice things about the Tories'". i News. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Tory rising star apologises after admitting she 'hacked into Labour MP's website'". The Telegraph. 8 April 2018. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  34. ^ Heffer, Greg (8 April 2018). "Tory vice-chair Kemi Badenoch admits hacking Labour MP's website". Sky News. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  35. ^ Khomami, Nadia (9 April 2018). "Harriet Harman accepts Tory rising star's hacking apology". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Kemi Badenoch MP - Biography". Retrieved 27 July 2019 – via Gov.UK.
  37. ^ Whittaker, Freddie (29 July 2019). "Kemi Badenoch replaces Nadhim Zahawi as children's minister". Schools Week. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  38. ^ "How MPs voted on May's withdrawal deal defeat". Financial Times. 29 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019.
  39. ^ Buchan, Lizzy (22 October 2019). "How your MP voted for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal". The Independent. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  40. ^ "Saffron Walden". Election 2019. BBC News. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  41. ^ a b Ryder, Hollie (13 December 2019). "General Election 2019: Kemi Badenoch re-elected as Conservatives hold Saffron Walden". Bishops Stortford Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  42. ^ Maciuca, Andra (14 February 2020). "MPs change roles in Tory government reshuffle". Saffron Walden Reporter.
  43. ^ "Public Accounts Committee membership agreed". UK Parliament. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  44. ^ "Teaching white privilege as uncontested fact is illegal, minister says". The Guardian. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  45. ^ Walker, Peter; Bland, Archie (29 January 2021). "Minister under fire over tweets about journalist who sent her questions". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  46. ^ "NUJ condemns online and offline abuse of Nadine White". National Union of Journalists. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  47. ^ "Journalist Nadine White Smeared by Minister for Equalities". Council of Europe. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  48. ^ Walker, Peter (1 February 2021). "No 10 defends minister who criticised HuffPost journalist on Twitter". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  49. ^ Forrest, Adam (11 March 2021). "'Appalling' speech by equalities minister was final straw, says LGBT+ adviser who quit government". The Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  50. ^ "Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch slams 'bad faith' critics of government-commissioned race report". Sky News.
  51. ^ "Kemi Badenoch hits out at 'appalling abuse' following controversial race report". The Independent. 21 April 2021.
  52. ^ "Minister for Equalities' speech on the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' report". GOV.UK.
  53. ^ "Speech of the year: Kemi Badenoch on critical race theory". Conservative Home. 29 December 2020.
  54. ^ "Kemi Badenoch: rising Tory star poised to replace Gavin Williamson as education secretary". The Times. 11 August 2021.
  55. ^ Hunte, Ben. "UK Equalities Minister Goes on Anti-LGBTQ Rant in Leaked Audio". Vice. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  56. ^ Wakefield, Lily. "Tory equalities minister Kemi Badenoch mocks LGBT+ rights and trans people in leaked recording". Yahoo News. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  57. ^ Murphy, Joe (27 February 2018). "Kemi Badenoch: New vice-chairman of the Conservatives talks about her fight to recruit a more diverse range of MPs". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  58. ^ @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.
  59. ^ "Hamish Badenoch". Merton Council. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  60. ^ "Local Elections Archive Project — Village Ward". www.andrewteale.me.uk. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  61. ^ "Annual Review to Tenants 2016" (PDF). Charlton Triangle Homes. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Saffron Walden

2017–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families
2019–2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities
2020–present
Incumbent
Preceded by Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
2020–present