Controversial equalities minister Kemi Badenoch resigns as Tories flee Boris Johnson’s sinking ship
Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has resigned her post, joining the growing list of MPs breaking away from Boris Johnson’s embattled government.
The MP for Saffron Walden quit her roles as minister for equalities and for local government, in a joint resignation letter with four other ministers on Wednesday afternoon (6 July).
She tweeted: “With great regret, I resigned from the government this morning. It has been an honour being equalities and local government minister. It was a privilege to have worked with so many great ministerial colleagues and civil servants in these roles.”
She was joined by education minister Alex Bughurt, parliamentary under-secretary for levelling up Neil O’Brien, media minister Julia Lopez and industry minister Lee Rowley.
The group wrote to Boris Johnson: “You have had the most difficult task in a generation. We hugely admire your fortitude, stamina and enduring optimism. You can be rightly proud of the significant decisions which you have, by common acclamation, got right.
With great regret, I resigned from the government this morning. It has been an honour being Equalities and Local Government minister. It was a privilege to have worked with so many great ministerial colleagues and civil servants in these roles. pic.twitter.com/XkNfnzjQVX
— Kemi Badenoch (@KemiBadenoch) July 6, 2022
“However, it has become increasingly clear that the government cannot function given the issues that have come to light and the way in which they have been handled. In good faith, we must ask that, for the good of the party and the country, you step aside.”
Badenoch’s resignation brings to an end her time at the Government Equalities Office, following lengthy calls for her resignation for her often controversial views on trans rights.
She once described trans women as “men using women’s bathrooms” in a leaked recording and leapt to the defence of Kathleen Stock, whose anti-trans views Badenoch described as being “in step with the majority of the population”.
Such attitudes, however, are not. Poll after poll has shown the majority of the British public backs trans rights.
Badenoch, nevertheless, has quietly met with the anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance and declined to attend an inquiry into reforming the Gender Recognition Act.
LGBTQ+ campaigners called for her resignation following her “vague” speech about the government’s conversion therapy ban in 2021, where she never once used the word “ban” and did not clarify whether the ban would extend to protecting trans people.
In the leaked recording, obtained by Vice World News, Badenoch reportedly said: “We’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”