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Kemi Badenoch Biography
Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch popularly known as Kemi Badenoch, was born 2 January 1980.
She is a British politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017.
A member of the Conservative Party, she served as Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities and Minister of State for Equalities from 2021 and 2022.
Badenoch was born in Wimbledon, London, to parents of Nigerian origin. Her childhood was spent in part in Lagos, Nigeria, and the United States. 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.
After studying law at Birkbeck, University of London, 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 digital 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. Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership.
She was elected to the House of Commons for Saffron Walden in Essex at the 2017 general election.
After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, Badenoch was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.
In the February 2020 reshuffle, she was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities.
In September 2021, she was promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities.
In July 2022, Badenoch resigned as minister, and following Boris Johnson’s resignation announcement, announced her candidacy in the Conservative Party leadership election.
Early Life and Education
Badenoch was born in 1980 in Wimbledon, London, to Femi and Feyi Adegoke. Her father was a GP and her mother is a professor of physiology. She has two siblings; a brother named Fola and a sister called Lola.
Badenoch’s childhood included time living in Lagos, Nigeria and in the United States, where her mother lectured.
She returned to the UK at the age of 16 to live with a friend of her mother’s owing to the deteriorating political and economic situation in Nigeria which had affected her family.
She obtained A Levels from Phoenix College, a former further education college in Morden, London, while working at a branch of McDonald’s.
Badenoch studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, completing an MEng in 2003.
She initially worked within the IT sector, first as a software engineer at Logica (later CGI Group) from 2003 to 2006.
While working there she studied law part-time at Birkbeck, University of London, and completed an LLB in 2009.
Badenoch then worked as a systems analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, before pursuing a career in consultancy and financial services, working as an associate director of private bank and wealth manager Coutts from 2006 to 2013 and later a digital director at The Spectator from 2015 to 2016.
Badenoch joined the Conservative Party in 2005 at the age of 25. At the 2010 general election, she contested the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency against Labour’s Tessa Jowell and came third.
Two years later, Badenoch 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 Badenoch 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 (as she became, 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 was shortlisted to be the Conservative Party candidate for the marginal Hampstead and Kilburn constituency at the 2017 general election, but was unsuccessful.
She was ultimately selected as the Conservative candidate for Saffron Walden, a safe seat for her party, which she held with 37,629 votes and a majority of 24,966 (41.0%).
In her maiden speech as an MP 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.
In the same month, Badenoch was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee.
In September, she was appointed to the parliamentary Justice Select Committee.
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 the 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.
In July 2019, Badenoch was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 UK EU membership referendum. She voted for 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 (43.7%) 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.
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.
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”.
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 whom she, as a result, accused of “creepy and bizarre behaviour”.
White subsequently made her Twitter account private, citing the abuse she received.
Badenoch’s actions were criticised by both the National Union of Journalists and the Council of Europe’s Safety of Journalists Platform.
She was defended by the prime minister’s press secretary who commented that it was all a “misunderstanding”.
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 decision by the government not to ban conversion therapy, with Ozanne describing a speech by Badenoch on the issue as being “appalling” and the “final straw”.
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.”
Badenoch accused Labour of “wilful 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 call ethnic minority people racial slurs like Uncle Toms, coconuts, house slaves or house negroes for daring to think differently.”
In a government reshuffle in September 2021, Badenoch was promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Shortly after her appointments, Vice News said they had received leaked audio from 2018 in which Badenoch mocked gay marriage, referred to trans women as “men” and used the term transsexual which is considered offensive by many trans people.
Within days of her appointment, her title of Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government was changed to Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities.
On 6 July 2022, Badenoch resigned from government, citing Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal, in a joint statement with fellow Ministers Alex Burghart, Neil O’Brien, Lee Rowley and Julia Lopez.
Two days later she launched a bid to replace Johnson as Conservative party leader.
She made the announcement in an article for The Times in which she said she wanted to “tell the truth” and advocated “strong but limited government”.
She called the target of net zero carbon emissions “ill-thought through” and said that politicians had become “hooked on the idea of the state fixing the majority of problems”. She launched her campaign at an event held on 12 July.
Kemi Personal Life
Kemi Badenoch is married to Hamish Badenoch; they have two daughters and a son.
Hamish works for Deutsche Bank and was a Conservative councillor from 2014 to 2018 on Merton London Borough Council, representing Wimbledon Village.
He also unsuccessfully contested Foyle for the Northern Ireland Conservatives at the 2015 general election.
Badenoch was a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association until 2016, and was also a school governor at St Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark, and the Jubilee Primary School.
Badenoch describes herself as a cultural Christian and notes that her maternal grandfather was a Methodist minister in Nigeria.
Badenoch’s father Femi died in February 2022 and she took bereavement leave from her ministerial duties for a brief period.
Kemi Badenoch Net Worth
Kemi Badenoch is a British politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017. She has an estimated net worth of $3 millions.