Kemi Badenoch, the woman of Nigerian descent who wants to be Prime Minister

Kemi Badenoch has made it to the final 5 for the conservative party tussle to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

“I have the conviction, the courage, and the clarity of thought to deliver that change,” she wrote on Twitter, announcing her leadership bid.


The 42-year-old is going head-to-head against former chancellor Rishi Sunak, International Trade minister Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, as well as Tom Tugendhat.

While many have said that the “culture warrior” is unlikely to become the next Prime Minister, Badenoch has so far received 49 votes and an endorsement from Michael Gove. Confirming her candidacy in The Times, Ms Badenoch said she wanted a limited government and to “tell the truth”.

Badenoch whose belief is based on free markets, limited government and a strong nation-state, will compete for the role of Prime Minister against former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat and Liz Truss.

This is coming on the back of the official resignation of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative party on Thursday, July 7th, 2022 following the mass resignations involving a number of his ministers and aides last week after losing their support and even that of members of parliament.

Currently, Badenoch is serving as a member of the Parliament and had served as Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities and Minister of State for Equalities between 2021 and 2022.


Badenoch was born in January 1980 in Wimbledon, London, to parents of Nigerian origin, Femi and Feyi Adegoke. After spending her childhood in part, in the US and in Lagos, Nigeria, she returned to the United Kingdom at the age of 16.

While working at a branch of McDonald’s, she obtained A Levels from Phoenix College, a former further education college in Morden, London.

She studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex and completed her MEng in 2003 and afterwards worked as a software engineer at Logica from 2003 to 2006. As a part-time student, at Birkbeck, University of London, she completed an LLB in 2009.

She also worked as a systems analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group before pursuing a career in consultancy and financial services while working as an associate director of private bank and wealth manager, Coutts & Co, from 2006 to 2013 and later as a digital director at The Spectator from 2015 to 2016.

Foray into politics

At 25, Badenoch joined the Conservative Party in 2005 and contested in the 2010 general election for the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency against Labour’s Tessa Jowell and came third.

After two years, she stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election and she was placed fifth on the London-wide list. In 2015, she was declared the new Assembly Member after Victoria Borwick resigned her seat. She also retained her seat in the Assembly in the 2016 election.

In 2017, Badenoch was shortlisted to be the Conservative Party’s candidate for the marginal Hampstead and Kilburn constituency but was unsuccessful. She was however selected as the Conservative candidate for Saffron Walden.

In September 2017, Badenoch was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee as she was appointed to the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee. A few months later, she was appointed as the Conservative Party’s Vice-Chair for Candidates.

In July 2019, Badenoch was appointed as Parliamentarian under Secretary of State for Children and Families by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and in February 2020, she was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Minister for Equalities – in the

In September 2021, Badenoch was promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Department for International Trade in a government reshuffle.

in a joint statement with fellow Ministers Alex Burghart, Neil O’Brien, Lee Rowley and Julia Lopez on 6 July 2022, Badenoch resigned from government, citing Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal,

Two days later she launched a bid to replace Johnson as Conservative party leader. She announced that she wanted to tell the truth and advocated a strong but limited government. She also called the target of net-zero carbon emissions ‘ill-thought through’ and said that politicians had become hooked on the idea of the state fixing the majority of problems.

Personal Life

Kemi is married to Hamish Badenoch who works for Deutsche Bank and they have two daughters and a son. Kemi’s husband was a Conservative councillor from 2014 to 2018 on Merton London Borough Council who represented Wimbledon Village. At the 2015 general election, he also unsuccessfully contested Foyle for the Northern Ireland Conservatives.

Until 2016, Badenoch was a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association and was also a school governor at St Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark, and the Jubilee Primary School. Her father, Femi passed away in February 2022.