Kemi Badenoch, minister for equalities and Saffron Walden MP. (Chris McAndrew/Official portrait of Kemi Badenoch)
Tory equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has been exposed questioning same-sex marriage, calling trans women “men” and using the offensive term “transexual” in a leaked recording.
The recording, obtained by VICE World News, was made in Badenoch’s parliamentary office in 2018, a year after she was elected as MP for Saffron Walden.
A year later, she was appointed as parliamentary under secretary of state for children and families by Boris Johnson, before becoming minister for equalities last year.
In the audio recording, Badenoch said: “It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality, it’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”
She continued: “Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing, it’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that, right so now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”
VICE reports that Badenoch, who this week was appointed minister of state for regional growth and local government in Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle while retaining her equalities role, also “appears to mock gay marriage, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013”.
Kemi Badenoch’s anti-LGBT+ comments were ‘taken out of context’, a government spokesperson said
Kemi Badenoch, as equalities minister, is responsible for “addressing the discrimination and inequalities that LGBT people face”. However she quietly met with the anti-trans hate group LGB Alliance last summer, recently declined to attend an inquiry into Gender Recognition Act reform, and has already faced repeated calls to resign her post for “failing” the LGBT+ community.
Addressing her latest comments, a government spokesperson defended the minister for equalities in a statement to VICE.
They said: “The Minister for Equalities is working hard to deliver for LGBT people, whether that is modernising the process of applying for a gender recognition certificate, driving forward LGBT rights in the workplace or banning conversion therapy.
“This 2018 comment has been taken out of context, with the Minister making a clear point about striking the balance for equality and fairness when there are multiple and often competing demands between different groups. It should not be used to misrepresent her views.”
But the John Nicholson, deputy chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights, told PinkNews: “The leaked anti-LGBT+ tirade from the UK government’s equalities minister is deeply depressing.
“I feel for the human rights workers at pro-equality organisations who now have to sit in a room with the minister knowing what she privately thinks about trans and gay people.”