New equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has been criticised for leaked comments on gay marriage and transgenderism.
In response to the alleged comments, published on Friday by Vice News, deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner said via Twitter:
“Everyone should be able to be themselves and be celebrated, supported and loved for who they are. The Equalities Minister should not be in the job if she does not believe that.”
Badenoch has been the MP for Saffron Walden since June 2017 and 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 this week’s cabinet reshuffle, she was promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and was appointed Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government.
In an audio recording made in her parliamentary office in 2018 and obtained by VICE News she allegedly said, “It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality,” Badenoch allegedly says in the recording, “it’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”
“Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing,” Badenoch continues, “it’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that, right so now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”
Several other opposition MPs have sharply criticised the comments via Twitter.
John Nicolson, @theSNP's shadow culture secretary and deputy chair of the @APPGLGBT, said Badenoch has “no credibility and a number of personal issues to work through on prejudice. This is someone who clearly harbours extreme hostility to trans people.” https://t.co/8BlEwf6giz
— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) September 17, 2021
The Government cannot talk the talk about tackling abuse against the LGBTQ+ community whilst a minister who make comments like this get a promotion.
— Feryal Clark MP (@FeryalClark) September 17, 2021