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‘Deep concern’ as anti-trans MP Kemi Badenoch re-appointed Equalities Minister

The Conservative MP reportedly mocked LGBTQ rights, questioned same-sex marriage and referred to trans women as “men” in recordings from 2018.

By Emily Maskell

Kemi Badenoch MP
Kemi Badenoch MP has outlined new plans (Image: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament)

The latest PM, Rishi Sunak, has assembled his new cabinet and the title of Equalities Minister has been handed to anti-trans Tory MP Kemi Badenoch.

The 42-year-old Saffron Walden MP will not only be Minister for Women and Equalities but also Secretary of State for International Trade.

Badenoch was made Minister of State for Equalities in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle of September 2021, she regained in July of 2022 and stood in the Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Johnson.

When Liz Truss became Prime Minister, Badenoch was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade, a position she retained as Sunak came to power.

However, it seems Sunak has added Equalities Minister to Badenoch’s title; seemingly, he has deemed the sector undeserving of its own dedicated representative. 

The appointment of Equalities Minister is somewhat ironic considering Badenoch has repeatedly been under fire for past transphobic comments

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran shared she is “disgusted” by Badenoch’s track record and latest appointment. 

Badenoch reportedly mocked LGBTQ rights, questioned same-sex marriage and referred to trans women as “men” in recordings from 2018.

The Equalities Office said the comments were taken “out of context”.

Badenoch has also come to the defence of Professor Kathleen Stock, who resigned from her role at the University of Sussex in November 2021 after protests against her views on sex and gender.

Kemi told Sky News: “[Stock] has every right to hold the beliefs which she does, and I think she is probably in step with the majority of the population.”

Last year the politician was urged to resign by colleague Jayne Ozanne, a member of a now-defunct LGBT advisory panel, after she spoke of an “end” to so-called ‘conversion therapy’ rather than a total ban of the abhorrent practice during a debate in the House of Commons.

“I don’t believe they have the best interests of the LGBT community in their minds and I don’t think they understand us,” Ozanne said of Badenoch and Truss in a BBC interview. I do think there are others more suited to this role who have more time to engage, and more heart for the work.”

Ozanne tweeted on Tuesday (25 October) that she was “deeply concerned” by Badenoch’s “divisive appointment as she is very outspoken against [trans] people.”

Adding fuel to the fire, Badenoch has also been reported to have urged the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to drop plans for a trans-inclusive policy for self-ID in the workplace. 

VICE World News reported letters showed Badenoch and Marcial Boo, the then Chief Executive Officer of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), pushing for the FCA to block trans women from being able to self-identify.

A spokesperson for Badenoch, according to VICE, said: “In response to a FCA consultation, and in her capacity as Equalities Minister, Kemi wrote to the FCA on how they could comply with the Equality Act and improve the representation of women on city boards”.

Badenoch’s track record is not a hopeful sign for the UK’s LGBTQ+ community as she steps into the new cabinet.