Kemi, Nigerian-Briton launches campaigns for UK PM



By Ode Idoko in London

As the race to replace Boris Johnson hots up, a British-born Nigerian Kemi Badenoch has thrown her hat in to the ring.

The former prime minister, Johnson resigned last week following an unprecedented massive resignation of MPs in the UK parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, told the press that he would hold on to power until a successor is chosen.

Kemi, a former equalities minister has become the latest Conservative MP to enter the race to become the next party leader and PM. Confirming her candidacy in the Times, Ms Badenoch said she wanted a limited government and to “tell the truth”.

The most high-profile candidate so far is former chancellor Rishi Sunak – who threw his hat into the ring on Friday. However, a No 10 source has told the BBC there was “real disappointment” with him in Downing Street.

They accused Mr Sunak of having a “short memory”, adding: “It was the prime minister who trusted him and gave him a top job when he was a junior minister.

Others who expressed interest to take up into the shoes of Prime Minister Johnson are senior Conservative backbencher, Tom Tugendhat.

Others are the foreign secretary, Liz Truss; home secretary, Priti Patel; former health secretary, Sajid Javid; current defence secretary Ben Wallace, and former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
According to BBC, a timetable for the Tory leadership race is due to be confirmed next week and the new prime minister is expected to be in position by September. Sir Charles Walker, a former joint acting chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs which will set the rules for the contest, says he anticipates a shortlist of two candidates will be known by 21 July, when Parliament breaks for the summer.

Kemi, a 42-year-old, is an MP from Saffron Walden constituency since 2017 and was also equalities minister.
She was among those to resign their government jobs this week – said she would lower taxes, but also have a “tight spending discipline”.

“Without change the Conservative Party, Britain and the western world will continue to drift” and rivals will “outpace us economically and outmanoeuvre us internationally”, she wrote.

“I’m putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth. It’s the truth that will set us free,” she added.

She said “people are exhausted by platitudes and empty rhetoric” and an “intellectual grasp of what is required to run the country” is missing. During her time as equalities minister, Ms Badenoch was criticised by members of the government’s LGBT+ advisory panel in March over delays in banning conversion therapy.

She quit as a junior minister alongside four colleagues on Wednesday, saying in a joint-letter that she was stepping down from her two roles with “great regret”.

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