Former British equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, has launched a bid to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party, a declaration that has continued to attract public endorsements.
Ms Badenoch, who was born Olukemi Olufunto in Wimbledon, London to parents of Nigerian origin, joined the race to succeed scandal-dogged Prime Minister Boris Johnson as Conservative leader on Saturday.
She was one of the nearly 60 members of parliament and aides who quit last week after Johnson apologised for appointing a senior colleague facing sexual assault claims to a prominent role.
The UK prime minister was last week forced to resign, although he said he would stay in office until his successor was appointed.
While announcing her bid for the UK’s top job in an article published in The Times newspaper, 42-year-old Badenoch and MP for Saffron Walden called for change, saying the British public was “exhausted by platitudes and empty rhetoric”.
“I’m putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth,” she said. “It’s the truth that will set us free.
“Without change the Conservative Party, Britain and the western world will continue to drift” and rivals will “outpace us economically and outmanoeuvre us internationally.”
Badenoch is in the race to become the next UK prime minister alongside Rishi Sunak, former chancellor; Sajid Javid, former health secretary; Ben Wallace, defence secretary; and Jeremy Hunt, former foreign secretary, among several others.
Chains Of Support
Her declaration has attracted a number of public endorsements, including by some members of the British parliament such as Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough; Michael Gove, MP for Surrey Heath; and Gareth Bacon, MP for Orpington.
As a campaigner, focused on getting colleagues re-elected I know how the Westminster bubble is so detached from voters – @KemiBadenoch will smash through this disconnect and deliver on what ordinary people want. This is how we renew as Party and win the next General Election
— Justin Tomlinson MP (@JustinTomlinson) July 9, 2022
I’m backing @KemiBadenoch because she’s brave, she stands up for common sense regardless of the flak she gets from the left (who can’t work out what to do about her 🤯) and she demonstrates the principled, consistent values that our country needs… #KB4PM https://t.co/tY9Wr6B0kI
— Cllr Ben Bradley MP (@BBradley_Mans) July 9, 2022
I am backing @KemiBadenoch to lead our party and our country. She is a passionate defender of free speech, free markets and British institutions at a time when woke activists and separatists threaten these values and our precious United Kingdom. 1/2https://t.co/ZlePoR7xYv
— Gareth Bacon MP (@GarethBaconMP) July 9, 2022
Integrity. Intelligence. Instinct. Industriousness. @KemiBadenoch demonstrates all of these qualities and that is why I am supporting her for Leader and PM. #KB4PM. https://t.co/s6koRZRu4d
— Andrew Lewer MP (@ALewerMBE) July 10, 2022
The new Conservative Leader needs to be someone with energy, clarity of vision, sound Conservative principles and the bravery to stand up for those values. @KemiBadenoch demonstrates all of these qualities which is why I am backing her. #KB4PM pic.twitter.com/kDUtHE88Fi
— Dr Caroline Johnson MP (@drcarolinej) July 10, 2022
I’m backing @KemiBadenoch for leader
– She’s principled & courageous
– At DLUHC I was impressed by her attention to detail, calm judgement & ability to get things done
– Smart & listens to both sides of an argument
– Will unite the party & appeal to a broad range of people
— Neil O’Brien MP (@NeilDotObrien) July 10, 2022
Kemi is bringing together serious reformers with the experience to take on the challenges ahead. Great to see quote from Lord Agnew here, backing her. We worked together in Cabinet Office and his understanding of gov machine and how it needs to change to deliver is second to none https://t.co/6Y86ilpdJJ
— Julia Lopez MP (@JuliaLopezMP) July 10, 2022
@KemiBadenoch is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met – and the embodiment of all that is good about our party & country
I am supporting her to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minster https://t.co/d3TWSa5Iq1
— Alex Burghart (@alexburghart) July 11, 2022
1st rule of politics: always elect the leader your opponents least want to face. So surely @Conservatives MPs should be supporting @KemiBadenoch. Intelligent, clear-headed and none of the baggage of other candidates. Delighted to see that @EddieHughes4WN agrees #Toryleadership
— Alan Fraser (@AlanFraserCAS) July 9, 2022
New PM To Be Named
Badenoch has previously held roles as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education.
She is also a former Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party and former member of the Justice Select Committee.
Prior to her election as a Member of Parliament, she was a Conservative member of the London Assembly, acting as the GLA Conservative’s spokesperson for the economy.
Meanwhile, the ruling Conservative party has said a new UK prime minister to replace Johnson would be announced on September 5 with 11 hopefuls vying for the job.
The influential 1922 Committee of non-ministerial Tory MPs in parliament on Monday outlined a timetable for the party’s leadership election.
Nominations are scheduled to officially open and close on Tuesday, with a new prime minister set to be installed when parliament returns from the summer break on September 5, said Chair of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady.
Tory MPs will whittle the current list down to a final two through a series of ballots, with the worst-performing candidate eliminated after each round, before party members choose the winner.