Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has appointed Conservative politician of Nigerian descent, Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch, , as Children and Families Minister, as part of his government reshuffle. Aged 39, Badenoch is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden.
She was born in Wimbledon, London to Nigerian parents. Her childhood was spent in Lagos and the United States. She moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 16. She has been the MP for Saffron Walden since 2017 after replacing Nadhim Zawahi.
She once told MPs in Parliament about her own experiences of poverty and how she used to do her homework by candlelight.
A software and IT engineer, Badenoch studied systems engineering at Sussex University and also has a law degree. She has worked in the banking sector for Coutts and RBS and is a mother of two.
Tweeting about her appointment, Badenoch @KemiBadenoch posted on 29 July: “Thank you for all good wishes and kind messages of support received. I also look forward to working not just with @Conservatives colleagues but cross-party and grateful for the warm welcome from @TracyBrabin and @Steve ReedMP who no doubt will be keeping me on my toes!”
The minister’s responsibilities include early years policy, including inspection and regulation. Her portfolio includes delivery of 30 hours free childcare offer, special educational needs including high needs funding, safeguarding in schools and disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus.
In her 2017 maiden speech as MP, the daughter of a GP and a physiology professor, described the vote for Brexit as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom”.