Kemi Badenoch Of Nigerian Heritage Gets UK Trade Secretary Job

An undated handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Conservative MP for Saffron Walden, Olukemi Badenoch, posing for an official portrait photograph at the Houses of Parliament in London. (Photo by Chris McAndrew / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP)

 

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Liz Truss, has appointed Kemi Badenoch as the new Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

Ms Badenoch, who was born Olukemi Olufunto in Wimbledon, London to parents of Nigerian origin, is also the MP for Saffron Walden.

Her appointment comes hours after Truss assumed office as Britain’s third woman prime minister and new Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, taking over from Boris Johnson who held the position since July 2019.

The 42-year-old’s appointment was announced on the verified Twitter page for the office of the UK Prime Minister based at 10 Downing Street.

 

In her reaction, she promised to commence the process that would lead to the creation of more jobs and better economic opportunities for people across the UK.

Before her appointment as UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Badenoch served as British equalities minister during Johnson’s tenure.

She previously held roles as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education.

 

Badenoch 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.

She was also in the race to succeed the former 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.

All the former contenders, however, lost the UK top job to 47-year-old Truss who has been the Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk since 2010.

British PM: Kemi Badenoch Of Nigerian Heritage Joins Race, Gets Endorsements

An undated handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Conservative MP for Saffron Walden, Olukemi Badenoch, posing for an official portrait photograph at the Houses of Parliament in London. (Photo by Chris McAndrew / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP)

 

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.


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.