Kemi Badenoch demands apology from David Tennant after actor told her to ‘shut up’ on trans issues

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has demanded an apology from David Tennant after he told her to “shut up” about trans people.

After being honoured at the British LGBT Awards on 21 June, Tennant said he didn’t wish Badenoch ill, but wanted her to shut up.

“I’m a little depressed that acknowledging everyone has the right to be who they want to be and live their life how they want to live it, as long as they’re not hurting anyone else, should merit any kind of special award or special mention because it’s common sense,” he said.

Responding to the comments, Badenoch branded him a “rich, lefty, white male celebrity”, saying in a post on X/Twitter she believed he was “blinded by ideology”.

Kemi Badenoch at an event.
Kemi Badenoch has demanded that David Tennant apologise to her over comments he made telling her to ‘shut up’ (Getty)

The Labour candidate for Brent East, Dawn Butler then weighed in to support Tennant, writing: “Not all Black women think the same. I agree with David Tennant. That’s it, that’s the tweet.”

Badenoch addressed the issue again during an interview on GB News, in which she said she called on the Doctor Who star to apologise and thinks “he is probably regretting” his comments.

You may like to watch

“It has had a lot of cut-through,” she said. “It shows the scale of the problem we have. What is even more extraordinary is a Labour MP, Dawn Butler, agreed with him. I keep telling people that all these Labour MPs with really bad politics will come in.”

Butler has routinely shown her support for Tennant, writing in an opinion piece for the Metro that she believed Badenoch to be hypocritical.

David Tennant and family at the premiere performance of "Mean Girls: The Musical" in London
David Tennant took his family to the Mean Girls premiere, wearing a non-binary pin. (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Mean Girls The Musical)

“They are the first to cry ‘free speech’ for anything racist or offensive, but when it comes to me having my opinions, they are the first to try and shut me down,” Butler said. “The interesting thing is, it’s not like David Tennant said that Kemi Badenoch ‘should be shot’, like Tory donor Frank Hester said about Diane Abbott.”

Badenoch faced a backlash after claiming that Tennant had attacked “the only Black woman in government,” suggesting his comments were racially driven. When asked about the it, she said: “It’s not about race at all, it’s about showing they are hypocrites.

“They play identity politics and they have a ladder as to who is a protected group. By their own rules, they criticise other people for going after Black women, but when it’s them, the rules suddenly change. That is what I was highlighting.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with skin colour. I don’t judge skin colour, but they do, except when they don’t want it to matter, like in that instance.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.