Prime minister Rishi Sunak appoints anti-trans Tory MP Kemi Badenoch as equalities minister

Kemi Badenoch

Unelected prime minister Rishi Sunak has appointed vehemently anti-trans Tory MP Kemi Badenoch to his cabinet as minister for women and equalities.

Sunak has spent the day (25 October) appointing his new cabinet after being named the third Tory prime minister in as many months.

Among his appointees are Jeremy Hunt remaining in his role as chancellor, James Cleverely as foreign secretary and Dominic Raab as deputy prime minister.

Badenoch has not only been given the top job in the Government Equalities Office (GEO) but she has also been appointed secretary of state for international trade. Because apparently Rishi Sunak doesn’t believe the women and equalities brief is worth a minister’s full attention.

She takes over from Liz Truss’s minister for equalities, Nadhim Zahawi, who in turn took over from Liz Truss as Boris Johnson’s minister for women and equalities.

Badenoch previously served under Truss in the GEO during the Johnson administration where she said she felt “empowered” to push back against trans rights.

“I could not have done anything without being empowered by my senior minister, Liz Truss, to challenge advice, meet whoever was relevant and do my job as I saw fit,” she wrote in The Sunday Times on 31 July.

During her time as a junior equalities minister, the GEO not only failed to ban conversion therapy, it also failed to bring in meaningful reform of the Gender Recognition Act – both of which were promised by Boris Johnson in the run-up to the 2019 general election, as reported by PinkNews.

Badenoch secretly met with both anti-trans activist Keira Bell and anti-trans lobby group LGB Alliance in her first stint as an equalities minister. It was reported LGB Alliance reached out to her to argue against banning conversion therapy, a practice considered “torture” by the United Nations.

Civil servants reportedly said at the time it was “inappropriate” of Badenoch, whose job it is to promote “transgender equality“, to speak with people who wants to limit the rights of young trans people.

The Tory MP “overruled” them and spoke to anti-trans activists nevertheless.

After Boris Johnson resigned in disgrace just a few weeks ago, Kemi Badenoch was one of many, many MPs to throw their hats into the race to succeed him as prime minister. Although Truss would go on to win one of two leadership races so-far this year, making history as the shortest-serving British prime minister ever, Badenoch was one of the power-hungry MPs who saw themselves occupying the top job in British politics.

But despite saying she was “in it to win it”, receiving the backing of fascist far-right group Britain First, and positioning herself as an “anti-woke” candidate – whatever that means – she failed to make the final ballot, being knocked out of the race on 19 July. 2022. Literally earlier this year.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas responded to the news of Badenoch’s appointment with a sarcastic quip on Twitter: “Kemi ‘culture war warrior’ Badenoch to become our equalities minister… excellent.”

New women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has a long history of working against LGBTQ+ rights

In remarks leaked in 2021, but made in 2018, just a year after Kemi Badenoch became an MP, she reportedly described trans women as “men using women’s bathrooms” and asked: “We’ve got gay marriage and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looks for?”

The remarks were exposed on a leaked recording obtained by VICE World News.

In the audio recording, Badenoch said: “It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality, 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?”

She continued: “Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing, 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.”

A government spokesperson defended Badenoch’s comments at the time saying they were taken out of context. No, we’re not sure how either.

A year later, Boris Johnson appointed her as parliamentary under secretary of state for children and families.

She was also slammed for allegedly holding meetings with so-called “ex-gay” groups and leaping to the defence of anti-trans professor, Kathleen Stock.