10 of Kemi Badenoch's biggest controversies as she is knocked out of Tory leadership contest

10 of Kemi Badenoch's biggest controversies as she is knocked out of Tory leadership contest
Kemi Badenoch launches Tory leadership campaign

Kemi Badenoch was today knocked out of the Tory leadership contest after failing to attract the support of enough Tory MPs to get to the next round.

Badenoch got 59 votes while those still in the race soared ahead with Rishi Sunak leading with 118 votes, Penny Mordaunt getting 92 and Liz Truss garnering the support of 86 MPs.

Badenoch's leadership big was marred in controversy because of her right-wing views and behaviour in the past, so perhaps it is a good thing she won't be our next prime minister.

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So as she goes back to her normal duties, here's a look back at her most "yikes" moments.

1. Hacking a Labour website

In 2018, the Mail on Sunday published a video in which Badenoch was asked what the naughtiest thing she'd ever done was and it was hacking a website. She said: "About 10 years ago I hacked into a Labour MP's website and I changed all the stuff in there to say nice things about Tories. This was a foolish prank over a decade ago, for which I apologise."

It was later revealed the the MP was Harriet Harman, who then tweeted to say Badenoch had apologised and she'd accepted her apology.

All's well that ends well.

2. Black history in schools row

Kemi BadenochUK Parliament

In November last year Badenoch spoke out against teaching more Black history in schools, saying she did not want white children being taught about “white privilege and their inherited racial guilt”. She added: “Any school which teaches these elements of political race theory as fact, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views, is breaking the law.”

3. Nadine White row

Also last year she was criticised for her response to a journalist’s request for asking why she had not appeared in a video promoting Covid vaccines, by tweeting the reporter’s name and questions, accusing her of inventing claims and calling her behaviour “creepy and bizarre”.

The journalist, the Independent's Nadine White who was working for the Huffpost website at the time, said she had to make her Twitter account private because of all the abuse she received.

4. Trans views

Meanwhile, leaked recordings to Vice in September 2021 claim she labelled trans women “men” and used the term “transsexual" in 2018.

They also claim she said: “Now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”

In response, a government spokesman said at the time: "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."

5. Tulip Siddiq row

In 2019 Badenoch accused the heavily pregnant at the time Labour MP Tulip Siddiq of “making a point” by voting in a Brexit debate and delaying her caesarean section by two days to do so.

She said it wasn't necessary to vote and argued to BBC's Politics Live that "one vote isn't going to make a difference".

6. Race report

In 2021, Badenoch criticised the Labour Party’s response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' race report which declared Britain was not institutionally racist. Labour had described the report as “cherry-picking of data”, while Dawn Butler claimed it was report was “gaslighting on a national scale”, describing those who put it together as “racial gatekeepers”.

Badenoch accused Labour of “wilful misrepresentations” over the report and responded to Butler’s comments by stating “It is wrong to accuse those who argue for a different approach as being racism deniers or race traitors.”

People were angered by these views.

7. Conversion therapy speech

As they were with her views in conversion therapy which she made in a speech in March.

In the speech, she said conversion therapy had no place "in a civilised society" but that laws were already in place to deal with many examples adding the government did not "intend to stop those who wish to seek spiritual counselling as they explore their sexual orientation."

She added: "There will also be cases where a line is crossed, where someone is actively seeking to change another's sexual orientation. The government will be exercising great care when considering what constitutes conversion therapy, what does not and therefore how the government should intervene."

8. Net zero

Badenoch got her fair share of criticism after she described net zero targets as "unilateral economic disarmament" early in the leadership contest, despite consensus among the scientific community that carbon emissions need to be drastically reduced by 2050.

On TalkTV, she added: "I believe there is climate change and that’s something we do need to tackle, but we have to do it in a way that doesn't bankrupt our economy.

"We've got to take people with us. What would happen if we moved it to 2060 or 2070? We're not going to be here. Let's be realistic”.

9. Gender-neutral toilets

At her campaign launch, Badenoch had gendered toilets, which raised a few eyebrows.

10. Minimum wage row

Also during her campaign, Badenoch claimed she knew what it was like to work on minimum wage "flipping burgers" when she was 16. But there was just one small problem:

See ya, Badenoch.

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