Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries Meet Kemi Badenoch, the Nigerian-British Politician Shortlisted for UK Prime Minister Seat
Visionaries - August 30, 2022

Meet Kemi Badenoch, the Nigerian-British Politician Shortlisted for UK Prime Minister Seat

In the recent Conservative Party contest to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Kemi Badenoch made it to the final eight candidates but unfortunately didn’t make the ultimate cut when the list was trimmed to two contenders.

However, making the list in the first place was a statement for the Nigerian-British lawmaker and confirmed her popularity in the parliament. Kemi’s beliefs are centred on free markets, limited government, and a strong nation-state.

Kemi Badenoch is currently a member of the British Parliament and previously held the positions of Minister of State for Equalities between 2021 and 2022, as well as Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities.

Education

Born in January 1980 in Wimbledon, London, Badenoch’s parents Femi and Feyi Adegoke, are of Nigerian descent. She returned to the UK at 16 after spending her adolescent years in the US and Lagos, Nigeria.

Before pursuing a career in consulting and financial services, she worked as an associate director of a private bank and wealth manager at Coutts & Co. from 2006 to 2013 and then as a digital director at The Spectator from 2015 to 2016. She also worked as a systems analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Source: New Statesman

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Life in politics 

At 25, Kemi Badenoch joined the Conservative Party. She ran in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency for the 2010 general election against Tessa Jowell of the Labour Party, finishing third.

Kemi ran for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election two years later and finished fifth on the list for all of London. She was elected as the new Assembly Member in 2015 after Victoria Borwick retired. In the 2016 election, she also kept her Assembly seat.

Badenoch was a finalist for the Conservative Party’s nomination in the 2017 election for the contested Hampstead and Kilburn seat. However, she was not chosen. She was selected as the Saffron Walden Conservative candidate, nevertheless.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Kemi Badenoch as a Parliamentarian under the Secretary of State for Children and Families in July 2019. In February 2020, she was named Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Assistant.

In a government reorganisation in September 2021, Badenoch was elevated to the position of Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of Housing, Communities, and Local Government Department for International Trade.

On July 6, 2022, Badenoch announced her resignation from the government in a joint statement with fellow Ministers Alex Burghart, Neil O’Brien, Lee Rowley, and Julia Lopez, blaming Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher incident.

She began her campaign to succeed Johnson as Conservative party leader two days later. She declared her intention to speak the truth and argued for a robust but constrained government. 

Personal life

Kemi is married to Deutsche Bank employee Hamish Badenoch, and they are blessed with two girls and a son.

From 2014 to 2018, Kemi’s husband served as Wimbledon Village’s representative on the Merton London Borough Council as a Conservative councillor. He also ran in vain for Foyle for the Northern Ireland Conservatives in the general election of 2015.

Source: The Sun

Until 2016, Kemi Badenoch served as a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association and as a school governor at the Jubilee Primary School and St. Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark. 

She lost her father in February 2022.

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