UK Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch Dismissed Colonialism In Leaked WhatsApps

In messages obtained by VICE, the UK equalities minister wrote that she doesn't "care about colonialism" and mocked prominent Black public figures.

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch answers a question at the despatch box while wearing a face coveri...
House of Commons - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images

Tory MP Kemi Badenoch, who serves as the UK Equalities Minister, has claimed that she doesn’t “care about colonialism” and mocked several high-profile Black figures in leaked WhatsApp messages.

The messages were obtained by senior VICE World News reporter Ben Hunte. In them Badenoch writes, “I don’t care about colonialism because [I] know what we were doing before colonialism got there.”

“[European Powers] came in and just made a different bunch of winners and losers,” Badenoch added.

She said: “There was never any concept of ‘rights’, so [the] people who lost out were old elites not every day people.”

The messages were either sent privately or posted in a group chat called Conservative Friends of Nigeria.

Badenoch also spoke up about the “mini-identity crisis” she had in her twenties, saying she learned about race from a colleague “who took no prisoners on [race] and he was very aggressive in challenging my view of what African achievement actually was.”

“The kind of chat I think is impossible to have today because he would just be sacked for racism. But he knew his stuff, and he didn’t back down and I found I knew a lot less about the country I lived in and grew up from than I thought.”

Badenoch also criticised Sam Gyimah, a Tory MP, saying “f*** no” when asked if he could be a potential leader of the Tory party.

She also boasted about making Kimberlé Crenshaw, a celebrated race academic, cry during a panel.

“Look [at] Diane Abbott, practically the only Black woman you see discussing politics and how she disgraced her selves [sic] not knowing her brief. That kinda stuff is soooo bad for us,” Badenoch added, referring to the prominent Labour MP.

These messages come after VICE World News obtained leaked audio recordings in which the Equalities Minister questioned same-sex marriage, calling trans women “men” and used the offensive term “transsexual”.

In the recording, she can heard saying: “It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality, it’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”

This is the latest in a long-line of controversies for the MP, who was criticised for meeting up with the controversial group LGB Alliance, and refusing to attend the Gender Recognition Act inquiry.

A government spokesperson told VICE: “The government does not comment on leaked private correspondence.”

Badenoch was made a minister of state at the Minister of Housing, Communities, and Local Government as part of the PM’s cabinet reshuffle, while Tory MP Mike Freer has recently been appointed to work alongside Badenoch as a Minister of Equalities.