In the race to succeed liberal-leaning Boris Johnson as the next UK Prime Minister, the former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch appears to be gaining support from the small-c conservative base of the Conservative party.
The 42-year-old Saffron Walden MP with Nigerian ancestry, Kemi Badenoch, has emerged as a champion in the fight against Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory and has argued against the big spending and high tax philosophy that has characterised Tory rule over the past decade, much to the dismay of the far-left in Britain.
Making it to the first round of voting among MPs on Wednesday, Badenoch topped a poll conducted by the Tory Party-aligned Telegraph newspaper, indicating strong support among the party’s actual membership. Other recent polls attempting to gauge the mood in this race have consistently placed her near the top.
Badenoch has criticised Net Zero climate goals as “unilateral economic disarmament,” as well as the far-left ideology surrounding gender.
“The scale of the challenge we face means we can’t run away from the truth. Inflation has made the cost-of-living crisis acute, but the problems go back way further.”
Badenoch said that the political right in Britain has lost the “confidence and courage and ability to defend the free market as the fairest way of helping people prosper.
“We’ve had a poor decade for living standards. We have overburdened our economy. There’s too much unproductive public spending, consuming taxpayers’ hard-earned money. And there are too many well-meaning regulations slowing growth and clogging up the arteries of the economy,” she said on Tuesday.
It is her strident stance on the cultural issues that won her the support of Reclaim Party leader and former London Mayoral candidate Laurence Fox, who said that “she has the best handle on the most important thing that’s going on outside of the cost of living crisis, which is the cultural problem in the UK.”
“She’s anti-Critical Race Theory, she’s against all of these contested ideologies and she’s sound on almost everything, she’s toned down the idea of Net Zero. I just don’t trust any of the others… I quite like Suella Braverman… but I think Kemi is the best of the bunch.”
“She’s very calm, very confident, very good speaker, very passionate but not in an overbearing way and I think she would have Keir Starmer for breakfast,” Fox added.
The Conservative party’s lead candidate, who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, before returning to England and working as a McDonald’s employee “flipping burgers, cleaning loos” to pay her way through college and earning a degree in engineering, said her experience defines the value of a free economy rather than the “poverty and broken dreams” inherent in the socialist model.