Kemi Badenoch has done a marvellous job of winding up all the right people in her new job as Minister for Equalities. She was asked in the Commons for her thoughts on the tweet that PinkNews’ Ben Cohen had posted yesterday, including the allegation she was the appointment “many LGBTQ+ campaigners feared.” He also shared a PinkNews article claiming she is “anti-Trans”.
Kemi told the House:
“I’m afraid that this particular individual is someone who uses Twitter as a tool for defamation; he has even sued people in this house like the hon. Member for Edinburgh West – or he’s been sued by, pardon me, the hon. Member for Edinburgh West. What I would like to say, Mr Speaker, as we do begin a new era of equalities is that the equality act is a shield not a sword. It is there to protect people of all characteristics whether they’re young or old, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, we are running a compasionate equalities strategy and we should not be distracted by people who use Twitter as a way to insult or accuse Members of Parliament.”
Following PMQs, Cohen published a statement on Kemi’s declaration, branding it “misinformation”, and demanding an apology and a correction of the record.
A statement following Kemi Badenoch’s use of Parliamentary privilege to spread misinformation about both myself and @PinkNews. I’ll await an apology and a correction to the Parliamentary record. pic.twitter.com/iKGk8voEyl— Benjamin Cohen (@benjamincohen) October 26, 2022
Guido advises Cohen not to hold his breath; he sent the statement to a source close to Kemi who replied:
“Already all the right people are incensed with Kemi being in post.”