Top Facts About Kemi Badenoch, of Nigerian descent, running for British PM

Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch née Adegoke – she is a British politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017.

She resigned as equalities minister and a minister in the Levelling Up department on July 6.

The former junior education minister announced her bid for leadership in the Times where she condemned in her words “platitudes and empty rhetoric” while promising to downsize government and lower taxes while being completely committed to Brexit. She is also focusing on battling against some social issues such as identity politics and ‘social justice’ revolving around race and culture – something she regularly commentates on.

As member of the Conservative Party, she served as Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities and Minister of State for Equalities between 2021 and 2022.

She was born in Wimbledon, London, 2 January 1980 to parents of Nigerian origin.

Her childhood was spent in part in the US, 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 Couttsand later as a director at The Spectator magazine.

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 the United States (where her mother lectured) and Lagos, Nigeria. 

Kemi 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.

Former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has opened her Conservative Party leadership campaign speech by saying “it’s time to tell the truth”. 

The Saffron Walden MP is a strong contender in the Tory leadership contest – currently sitting in second position according to one poll.

Addressing MPs and journalists at the launch in Westminster, she said: “For too long politicians have been saying you can have it all – you can have your cake and eat it. But I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.

“Governing involves trade-offs and you need to be honest about that.”

Ms Badenoch said the public is “crying out for honesty” from the next prime minister, a quality she pledged to embody if chosen.

Former senior cabinet minister Michael Gove has also thrown his support behind  Kemi Badenoch in the leadership race, after he was sacked by Mr Johnson amid last week’s wave of resignations.

MP for Brentwood and Ongar, Alex Burghart, has already backed her.

He tweeted: “Kemi Badenoch is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met – and the embodiment of all that is good about our party & country

“I am supporting her to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minster.”

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