Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch also Known as Kemi Badenoch is a British politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017.
A 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.
Born in Wimbledon, London, to parents of Nigerian origin. Kemi Badenoch spent her childhood in part in Lagos, Nigeria and the US.
She studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex and 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 Coutts and later as a director at The Spectator magazine.
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In 2012, Badenoch unsuccessfully contested a seat on the London Assembly. Three years later, she was selected as a London Assembly member.
She supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership. She was elected for Saffron Walden in Essex at the 2017 general election.
After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, Badenoch was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.
In the February 2020 reshuffle, she was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities.
She was also promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities in September 2021.
In July 2022, Badenoch resigned as minister, and following Boris Johnson’s resignation announcement, announced her candidacy in the Conservative Party leadership election.
She alongside other politicians from the Conservative Party have declared interest to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom by September 5.
She announced her intention to run in an Op-Ed published in the Times of London on Saturday, saying she would run on a “smart and nimble centre-right vision.”
“I’m putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth. It’s the truth that will set us free,” her Op-Ed read.
According to Oddschecker, She is one of the five top contenders for the seat. Others are Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, and Tom Tungedhat in that order.