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Nigerians in Diaspora: Kemi Badenoch, Member Of UK Parliament

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Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch Adegoke; born January 1980) is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden.

Her maiden name is Kemi Adegoke.

She grew up  in Lagos, Nigeria and the United States. She moved to the United Kingdom at the age of sixteen.

On completing her study in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, she worked as a software engineer at Logica.

She went on to work at RBS as systems analyst and later as an associate director at Coutts and later proceeded to the Spectator magazine as a director.

She is currently a board member for the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life.

Kemi is the GLA Conservative’s spokesman for the Economy and also sits on the Transport Committee and Policing and Crime Committee.

In 2012, Badenoch unsuccessfully contested a seat at the London Assembly. Three years later, Badenoch was selected as a London Assembly member after Suella Braverman and Victoria Borwick declined their seats after being elected as MPs at the 2015 general election. She supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum. Badenoch was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden on 8 June 2017.

 

Early life

Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke was born in Wimbledon, London to Femi and Feyi Adegoke. Her father is a GP and her mother is a professor of physiology. Adegoke spent part of her childhood in the United States where her mother lectured and also in Lagos, Nigeria. She returned to the United Kingdom at the age of 16.

Adegoke studied Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex. She initially worked within the IT sector first as a software engineer at Logica (later CGI Group). While working there she studied part-time at Birkbeck, University of London and obtained a Law degree in 2009.

Adegoke then worked as a systems analyst at RBS, before pursuing a career in consultancy and financial services, working as an associate director of private bank and wealth manager Coutts and later a director at the conservative magazine The Spectator.

 

Political career

Adegoke joined the Conservative Party in 2005 at the age of 25.

Badenoch, nee Adegoke, will represent Saffron Walden and has served as a London-wide member of the London Assembly since 16 September 2015 following the resignation of Victoria Borwick upon her election to the House of Commons in the 2015 general election.

She joined the Conservative Party in 2005 and since then has been active in Conservative politics. In 2010 she stood in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency against Tessa Jowell and came third behind the Liberal Democrats.

Two years later, Badenoch stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election where she was placed fifth on the London-wide list

The fourth placed candidate on the list, Suella Fernandes, had also been elected to the House of Commons and declined to fill the vacancy. Badenoch (following her marriage in 2012) was therefore declared to be the new Assembly Member. She went on to retain her seat in the Assembly in the 2016 election. Badenoch supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union membership referendum.

Badenoch was elected as MP for the Saffron Walden constituency in the 2017 general election with 37,629 votes and a majority of a 24,966 (41.0%). She had also made the shortlist to be the Conservative Party candidate in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.

In her maiden speech on the 19 July, she described the vote for Brexit as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom” and cited her personal heroes as the Conservative politicians Winston Churchill, Airey Neave, and Margaret Thatcher.

In the same month, Badenoch was selected to join the 1922 Executive Committee. In September, she was appointed to the parliamentary Justice Select Committee. The following month, Badenoch was listed at Number 96 on Conservative political commentator Iain Dale’s “100 most influential on the Right 2017”.

She was appointed as the Conservative Party’s Vice Chair for Candidates in January 2018.

In April 2018, The Mail on Sunday obtained a video of an interview that Badenoch did with Core Politics, where she confessed to hacking into the website of a Labour MP in 2008. The MP in question was Harriet Harman, who was then Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Harman accepted Badenoch’s apology, but the matter has been reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s cyber crime reporting centre.

 

Personal life

Kemi is married to Hamish Badenoch and they have one daughter and one son. Hamish works for Deutsche Bank and was a Conservative councillor on the Merton London Borough Council. She was a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association till her retirement in 2016, and was also previously a school governor at St Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark, and the Jubilee Primary School (both in London).

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