Badenoch, Kemi

Kemi Badenoch is‌ ‌the Conservative ‌‌MP‌ ‌for Saffron Walden‌, having‌ ‌first‌ ‌been‌ ‌elected‌ ‌to‌ ‌Parliament‌ ‌in 2017‌.  Badenoch was‌ ‌re-elected‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌2019‌ ‌General‌ ‌Election‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌majority‌ ‌of‌ 27,594.

The constituency of Saffron Walden is a rural seat located in the north west of Essex. It contains the towns of Saffron Walden, Haltstead and Great Dunmow.  A safe Conservative constituency, it was formerly represented in Parliament by the leading post War Conservative and former Chancellor, Rab Butler.  A relatively affluent area in which nearly three quarters of the electorate are home owners, it also includes Stansted Airport.

Badenoch was appointed Secretary of State for Business and Trade in February 2023 as part of a departmental reorganisation, having previously been President of the Board of Trade in September 2022.  She is also the government’s Minister for Women and Equalities

According to ConservativeHome’s monthly ranking of cabinet ministers, based on a self-selecting survey, Kemi Badenoch is right now the best positioned of the likely runners and riders to emerge one day as Conservative leader.

In ConservativeHome’s December 2023 survey, Badenoch emerged with a 63 point net satisfaction rating among the party membership. It puts her in poll position, ahead of leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt.

Duly, according to the comparison site Oddschecker, Kemi Badenoch is the favourite to become the next Conservative leader. Leading betting company Bet365 places the business and trade secretary on 5/2.

Badenoch is known as a prominent culture warrior and is popular on the right of the party.

Week-in-Review: New right-wing movement, backed by Kemi Badenoch, spells doom for Rishi Sunak

However, her tussle with the European Research Group (ERG) of eurosceptic Conservative MPs over EU retained law may have damaged her standing among Brexiteers. As business and trade secretary in May 2023, she personally announced that the government would be removing the so-called “sunset” clause from the retained EU law bill and would not be scrapping 4000 EU laws from the statue book, as Rishi Sunak previously promised, but 600.

‘Groomed’ to be a future leader

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries has claimed Kemi Badenoch is being “groomed” by a secretive Conservative insider cabal to be a future party leader.

Referring to Dougie Smith, a No 10 insider and husband of Boris Johnson’s former policy chief Munira Mirza, she said: “He’s already … grooming the person to take over from Rishi Sunak”.

Pressed on who that person was, Dorries told TalkTV: “Kemi Badenoch”.

Dorries claims PM is being ‘played’ as party ‘grooming’ Kemi Badenoch to takeover

Kemi Badenoch’s political views

Badenoch has argued that “silly things like pronouns” are distracting from core problems like the rise of China.

Badenoch made the comments at the conference of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship, which has brought together right-wing figures from across the world for a three-day event to discuss the direction of conservatism.

She also said the government is challenging “activist groups” like Stonewall after it got on the “wrong track on gender ideology”.

She said the government had got on the “wrong track on gender ideology” over the past decade by outsourcing policy-making to the charity.

She insisted that the government is doing much more to “challenge activist groups that take over institutions”.

She said: “There is an inflexion point coming and we need to be very focused and figure out how we are going to get ourselves into a good place.

“And that means not being distracted by all sorts of silly things like pronouns and what critical race theory is saying and measuring people’s skin colour and so on.”

“All of these things are distractions and whenever I see too much invested in those sorts of things it means that companies and individuals are not dealing with their core purposes and that is why I am sceptical about so many of those things.”

Kemi Badenoch: ‘Silly things like pronouns’ are distracting from ‘core problems’, such as China rise

Badenoch has defended both the police and race relations in Britain, and was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying, “They’re the best in the world. We don’t have all the horrible stuff that’s happened in America here. People pick on one bad experience, blow it up and say: ‘This is institutional racism’. That’s not to say race relations are perfect, but [Britain] is as good as it gets.”

Political career

Badenoch was a candidate for the Conservative leadership in July 2022.  She surprised initial expectations and came fourth in the contest in terms of gaining support from Conservative MPs.

She supported Liz Truss in the later stages of the 2022 Conservative leadership contest.

Badenoch was‌ ‌appointed‌ ‌as Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in September 2021.  She resigned in July 2022 claiming she no longer had confidence in the leadership of Boris Johnson.

She was formerly Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury ‌ between 2020 and 2021. She also serves as the government’s Equalities Minister.

Born‌ ‌in 1980,  Badenoch was born in the UK but grew up in both America and Nigeria. Returning to the UK at the age of 16, she studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex.

She ‌worked‌ ‌as a software engineer at Logica, as an Associate Director at Coutts Bank, and later as a the head of digital for The Spectator Magazine, ‌before‌ ‌being‌ ‌elected‌ ‌to‌ Parliament.‌

Badenoch was a Conservative member of the London Assembly, acting as the GLA Conservative’s spokesperson for the economy. She is also a former Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party

She is married with three children, and supported Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.  Her husband campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum and reportedly handed her a leaflet to that effect whilst campaigning at a railway station.

Email –

Website‌ ‌–‌ ‌

Twitter‌ ‌–‌ ‌ ‌ @KemiBadenoch