Kemi Badenoch launches bid to be Prime Minister of the UK

Conservative Member of Parliament, Kemi Badenoch, has become the latest party member to enter the race to become the next party leader and Prime Minister.

The former equalities minister confirmed her candidacy in the Times, saying she wanted a limited government and to “tell the truth”.

The 42 year old Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden said a “strong but limited government focussed on the essentials” was needed.

Ms Badenoch, who was among those to resign their government jobs this week, said that she would lower taxes, but also have a “tight spending discipline”.

“Without change the Conservative Party, Britain and the western world will continue to drift” and rivals will “outpace us economically and outmanoeuvre us internationally”, she wrote.

“I’m putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth. It’s the truth that will set us free.”

She said “people are exhausted by platitudes and empty rhetoric” and an “intellectual grasp of what is required to run the country” is missing.

During her time as equalities minister, Ms Badenoch was criticised by members of the government’s LGBT+ advisory panel in March over delays in banning conversion therapy.

She quit as a junior minister alongside four colleagues on Wednesday, saying in a joint-letter that she was stepping down from her two roles with “great regret”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, resigned this week after almost 50 government ministers resigned, he said that he intends to stay on in Downing Street until a successor is chosen.

A timetable for the Tory leadership race is due to be confirmed and the new prime minister is expected to be in position by September 2020.

Sir Charles Walker, a former joint acting chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs which will set the rules for the contest, says he anticipates a shortlist of two candidates will be known by 21 July, when Parliament breaks for the summer.