MICHAEL Gove is backing Tory rising star Kemi Badenoch to be the next Prime Minister, HOAR can reveal.
The Tory big beast – seen as a kingmaker in the leadership race – said Kemi has the “right stuff” to lead Britain.
Michael Gove backs Tory rising star Kemi Badenoch to be next Prime Minister
Tory big beast Gove says Kemi has the ‘right stuff’ to lead Britain
His backing is a huge coup for Ms Badenoch and will set the leadership race ablaze.
She is a relative unknown outside of Westminster, but is hugely popular among colleagues for her opposition to woke policies and slap down of Labour accusations that Britain is racist.
Speaking exclusively to HOAR, Mr Gove said he has “no hesitation in saying our next PM should be Kemi Badenoch”.
He added: “I’ve worked with Kemi since before she became an MP and served alongside her in Government. She is brave, principled, brilliant and kind.”
He said she has led the charge against “mumbo jumbo peddled by left wing culture warriors”.
And she has the grit and determination to tackle inefficiencies in the Whitehall blob and deliver reform of public services, he said.
Mr Gove added: “There is so much we need to fix. From processing passports and driving licences to defence procurement and science investment – we need someone with Kemi’s focus, intellect and no-bulls**t drive.”
Lord Theodore Agnew, who dramatically quit Boris’ government at the despatch box in January, has also thrown his weight behind Kemi.
He told HOAR: “I am delighted to be supporting Kemi Badenoch in her bid to be our next Prime Minister.
“I have always valued her candour and common sense.
“We need fresh thinking to unlock the prosperity that this country is so capable of achieving and Kemi is the person to make this happen.”
Born in London to parents of Nigerian descent, Kemi paid her way through university by flipping burgers at McDonalds.
She was elected to Parliament in 2017 and became a minister under Boris – most recently working in the department for levelling up under Mr Gove.
Launching her bid to be Tory leader, she promised to cut taxes, slash the size of the state and focus on delivery and growth.
In an article in The Times spelling out her vision, she said: “Too often people feel that whoever is elected, the answer is more government.
“By promising too much and trying to solve every problem, politicians don’t reassure and inspire, they disappoint and drive disillusion. More taxes. More rules and regulations. And ever cheaper borrowing to keep government afloat no matter the cost to savers or the wider economy.
“Instead, we need strong but limited government focused on the essentials.
“Lower taxes yes, but to boost growth and productivity, and accompanied by tight spending discipline.”
She has garnered a lot of support among the Tory Red Wall MPs, while Mr Gove’s backing will catapult her into the heart of the contest.