Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch attended zero Pride-related events in 2023

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch leaves number 10, Downing Street, following the weekly Cabinet meeting on January 16, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch did not attend any events related to LGBTQ+ Pride in an official capacity last year, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

Badenoch, who didn’t meet with any of the UK’s leading queer organisations in 2023, has now also been shown to not have been at a single “Pride-related function or event” last year, after an FOI shared with PinkNews asked for details of any LGBTQ+ celebrations the minister attended.

“I can confirm that minister Badenoch did not attend any Pride-related functions or events during 2023,” a spokesperson for the head of Freedom of Information stated.

Several of Badenoch’s predecessors in the role of minister for women and equalities, including Liz Truss, publicly celebrated Pride or attended events.

The news comes as a separate FOI request by author and journalist Ryan Love found that, despite Badenoch’s claims that she has “engaged extensively with LGBT groups in my role as minister for women and equalities”, she had in fact met with just two groups.

The groups mentioned in the report were Transgender Trend and Sex Matters, two notably ‘gender critical’ organisations.

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Badenoch has frequently been criticised by the LGBTQ+ community since she was appointed minister for women and equalities in October 2022. She has frequently aired anti-trans views and tried to crack down on progressive measures such as gender-neutral toilets.

As well as numerous anti-trans moves – including describing trans women as “men” in a leaked recording and reportedly pressuring the Financial Conduct Authority into quashing trans-inclusive workplace policies – she has also been criticised for failing to implement a ban on conversion therapy.

Since Theresa May first announced plans to outlaw LGBTQ+ conversion therapy in 2018, legislation has been consistently delayed and debated, with Badenoch, who is also the trade secretary, reportedly deciding to stall on a ban further in 2022 in order to “scrutinise” proposals.

Meanwhile, Badenoch has repeated a conspiracy theory pushed by anti-trans campaign groups that gender-affirming care is “a new form of conversion therapy”.

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