Kemi Badenoch political views: how Tory leader candidate voted on Brexit and the economy, comments on trans issues

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Kemi Badenoch’s “anti-woke” stance is popular with right-leaning Tories

Kemi Badenoch is one of the five candidates still in the running to become the next Prime Minister.

The former equalities minister has been one of many surprises in the Tory leadership contest, beating more high-profile candidates such as Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Attorney General Suella Braverman in the first two rounds of votes.

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Ms Badenoch’s “anti-woke” stance is popular with those towards the right of the Conservative Party, and she has received public backing from former Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove in addition to several other Tory MPs.

But what are Kemi Badenoch’s political views, and how has she voted on key issues? Here’s what you need to know.

Kemi Badenoch is standing to be leader of the Conservatives. Kemi Badenoch is standing to be leader of the Conservatives.
Kemi Badenoch is standing to be leader of the Conservatives.


Ms Badenoch was a supporter of Brexit and voted to leave the European Union.

In a rousing maiden speech in Parliament, the MP for Saffron Walden described the referendum as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom.”

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According to TheyWorkForYou, Ms Badenoch also ‘almost always’ voted against more EU integration.


Ms Badenoch’s leadership launch speech focused heavily on the economy - citing the ‘cost of living crisis’ as the biggest issue the country is facing today.

She said: “In the debate we’ve been having about the future of our party and our country, there have been lots of promises to cut taxes.

“I am committed to reducing corporate and personal taxes but I will not enter into a tax bidding war over, ‘My tax cuts are bigger than yours’.”

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She continued: “For too long, politicians have been saying, ‘You can have it all; you can have your cake and eat it.’ I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

“There are always tough choices in life and in politics; no free lunches, no tax cuts without limits on Government spending, no stronger defence without a slimmer state.

“Unlike others, I’m not going to promise you things without a plan to deliver them.”

She added that she would tackle the economic crisis by cutting spending on international aid, university student subsidies and “superfluous support staff.”

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In the past, Ms Badenoch has voted for ‘a mixture of for and against measures to reduce tax avoidance.’

Her voting record also shows she has ‘consistently’ voted against higher taxes on banks.

She voted in favour of increasing the threshold at which people start to pay income tax.

Gay Rights

Ms Badenoch has never voted on gay rights or on gay marriage.

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However, in the past she has been criticised by the LGBTQ+ community for “failing” in her former role as equalities minister.

Jayne Ozanne, a former LGBTQ+ advisor to the government, told PinkNews: “I’m staggered by the pure naked ambition that is being shown by Kemi Badenoch, a junior minister who has never held a senior cabinet position and who has utterly failed in her brief to champion the people she was appointed to protect – namely the LGBTQ+ community.”

Trans Rights

On Monday 11 July, Ms Badenoch attended a ‘free speech’ event at the House of Lords where she spoke of her hope to “abolish gender neutral toilets.”

The MP was previously criticised for describing trans women as “men using women’s toilets.”

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Last year, Vice also published a leaked recording in which Ms Badenoch can be heard saying: “It’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, okay well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”

The term ‘transsexual’ is considered outdated and offensive by many trans people.

On 30 June, Ms Badenoch shared on her Twitter that the Government’s Gender Recognition Certificate process is now digital, saying she was “delighted.”


TheyWorkForYou states that there is not enough information in Ms Badenoch’s voting history to ‘calculate her position on stronger enforcement of immigration rules.”

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She has however consistently voted for a stricter asylum system.

Ms Badenoch is yet to comment on the Rwanda migrant plan.

You can read about Ms Badenoch’s views on climate change and the environment here.

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