For the second time in his political career, Kemi Badenoch becomes responsible for the Ministry of Equality (now merged with the Women’s portfolio), amid criticism from part of the LGBT+ public. She was appointed on Tuesday (25) by the UK’s new prime minister, Rishi Sunak.
Debuting her speech in Parliament, Badenoch responded to the CEO of trans Pink News magazine, Ben Cohen, who called it “anti-transgender”.
“What I wanted to say, as we begin a new era of equality, is that the Equality Act is a shield, not a sword. It exists to protect people of all stripes, whether they are young or old, male or female, black or white, gay or straight,” Badenoch declared.
She still highlighted that it executes “a strategy of compassionate equality” and that it should not be distracted by “people who use Twitter as a way of insulting or accusing members of Parliament”.
The activist magazine accuses Badenoch of having worked on closing the UK gender transition pediatric clinic, Tavistock, and maintaining a strong dialogue with Keira Bell, the young woman, who regretted her gender transition at 16 years, transitioned to sex at birth and sued the British clinic.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), in addition to closing Tavistock, plans to ban surgeries and hormone treatments in under 18 years, providing new guidelines to doctors.
Pink News points out Badenoch as one of the main articulators of these changes, alongside the LGB Alliance, a British charity advocacy group whose stated aim is to defend the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but is considered transphobic by activists.
The minister has also been criticized in in relation to other matters. In a speech that had great repercussion on the internet, Badenoch questioned some anti-racist movements. “The ideology that sees my blackness as victimization and their whiteness as oppression is breaking the law,” she declared.
On the climate agenda, she repeatedly highlighted that she believes in reducing carbon emissions. , “but not bankrupt the UK to achieve that goal”.
Born Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke, to a Nigerian family , the minister has been called “the Labor Party’s worst nightmare”. Badenoch joined the Conservative Party in 2005 at the age of 2005 and is described today by The Guardian as “a rising star ” from the conservatives.
Daughter of doctors from Nigeria, she lived in the African country until the 16 years, then passed through the United States before to enter Great Britain. Before entering college, she prepared sandwiches in fast food chains.
Married, mother of three and engineer By training, Kemi Badenoch held different positions in the Conservative Party, before being elected deputy by Saffron Walden, in the east of the country, in 2017.
She was Minister of State at the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities and also from the Equality portfolio (in which she had been undersecretary) from September 2021 to July of this year. That month, she left the Executive to run for the succession of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but failed to reach the final round of the Conservative Party dispute.
Later, she took over as Secretary of State for Commerce. International and president of the Board of Trade on September 6 in the lightning government of Liz Truss, until being appointed to the Ministry of Women and Equality this week.