BusinessDay

Meet Kemi Badenoch, the Nigerian in UK Prime Minister’s cabinet

British- born Nigerian Kemi Badenoch has been appointed by Britain’s Prime Minister as a member of her cabinet. She holds the post of Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

The British politician was born on January 2, 1980 to Nigerian parents. She shuffled between Nigeria and the United States where her mother lectured as a professor of physiology. She returned fully to the United Kingdom at the age of 16.

She studied computer system engineering at the University of Sussex, she then obtained a Master of Engineering(M Eng) degree in 2003.
In 2006, while working as a software engineer she began a part time study of Law at Birbeck, University of London, she completed her degree in Bachelor of Laws(LLB) in 2009.

In 2005 at age 25, Badenoch started her political career as a member of the Conservative party and in 2010 she contested for her first electoral position in her constituency but came third.

Badenoch Married Hamish Badenoch, a banker and former Conservative Councillor in 2012 and they have three children.

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Later in 2015, despite losing an election to the House Of Commons she was chosen to replace a candidate to become London assembly member. She got her first parliamentary seat as a representative of Saffron Welden, a safe seat in 2017.

In her maiden speech as member of parliament she described Brexit “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom”.

As MP she was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee, she was also appointed to the parliamentary Justice select committee, she was appointed as the Conservative Party’s Vice Chair for Candidates in January.
In July 2019, she was appointed as Secretary of State for children and Families and in 2020, Exchequer Secretary to Treasury under Boris Johnson’s government.

In September 2021, she was promoted to Minister of State for levelling up communities.

On July 8, 2022 she stood to replace Johnson in the 2022 Conservative Party Leadership election as party leader but was eliminated with 59 votes.