Kemi Badenoch is a British politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden since 2017. A member of the Conservative Party, she served as Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities and Minister of State for Equalities between 2021 and 2022.
Badenoch was born in Wimbledon, London, to parents of Nigerian origin. Her childhood was spent in part in the US, and in Lagos, Nigeria. She returned to the United Kingdom at the age of 16. After studying Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, Badenoch worked as a software engineer at Logica. She went on to work at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group as a systems analyst before working as an associate director at Coutts and later as a director at The Spectator magazine.
In 2012, Badenoch unsuccessfully contested a seat on the London Assembly. Three years later, she was selected as a London Assembly member. Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership. She was elected for Saffron Walden at the 2017 general election. Badenoch served as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities from 2020 to 2021. In September 2021, she was promoted to Minister of State for Equalities and appointed Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities.
In July 2022, she resigned as minister and announced her candidacy in the 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.