Kemi Badenoch says any racial prejudice she has encountered 'is always from the left'

14 July 2022, 22:08

'The prejudice that I encounter is always from the left'

By Megan Hinton

Tory leadership candidate Kemi Badenoch has said any racial prejudice she has encountered "is always from the left" and never from the Conservative party.

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Ms Badenoch, who is fighting to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said it "is crazy to say that Conservatives don’t treat people of colour well" as she dismissed claims her party has a problem with racism.

Speaking to LBC's Iain Dale, the Conservative MP said: "I think given the level of diversity we have in the party it is crazy to say that conservatives don’t treat people of colour well. That is absolutely not true, there is so much that we have done.

"We have a programme called inclusive Britain that’s our strategy for inclusivity reducing ethnic and racial disparities.

"I think people need to look at what the government is actually doing and not look at what happened in one particular constituency 30 years ago and paint us all like that.

"Have you encountered any of the prejudice in the Conservative party?

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"No. The prejudice that I encounter is always from the left. So when I got selected in Saffron Walden, and these are the sorts of people that I tell you don’t see skin colour, they are listening to what you are saying and that’s what’s amazing about our country.

"I came to this country aged 16 and now I am standing for Prime Minister - isn’t that amazing? I was born in this country but I didn’t grow up here.

"That is amazing. And I don’t understand why people want to ignore all of the good things and only focus on the bad things and use the bad things to tell the story.

She added: "I am just very proud of my party and the way that we are representative of this country."

Kemi Badenoch: 'I think looking at skin colour all the time is divisive'

Ms Badenoch was also questioned on how she felt about accusations of being "a culture warrior".

The Tory candidate replied: "The challenge that we have today is that... I don’t know whether it’s the cultural establishment or whoever, seem to think that there is only one way to be black and anyone who is not like that is not really black. Which of course means nothing to me.

"I don't need people whose only experience of being black is being an ethnic minority in the UK to tell me what that means."

She added: "You can be black and a Tory and successful."

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The leadership hopeful earlier thanked colleagues for their support after making it into the next round of the competition.

"I am delighted that a growing number of my colleagues have faith in my vision for a return to honest politics and Conservative principles. Thank you for your support," she tweeted.

"Now is the time for change and I am looking forward to continuing to make that case in the TV debates."

The five candidates who have made it through the second round of voting are:

  • Rishi Sunak - 101 votes
  • Penny Mordaunt - 83 votes
  • Liz Truss - 64 votes
  • Kemi Badenoch - 49 votes
  • Tom Tugendhat - 32 votes