Kemi Badenoch backs Baroness Falkner: Cabinet minister will not allow head of equalities watchdog to be ‘hounded’ out of her job over her stance on trans issues, sources say
- Baroness Falkner was being investigated following complaints from her staff
- Kemi Badenoch has made it clear she will not let her be ‘hounded’ out of her job
Kemi Badenoch will not allow the embattled chairman of the equalities watchdog to be ‘hounded’ out of her job over her stance on trans issues, government sources say.
Kishwer Falkner was being investigated after her own staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission filed a dossier of complaints alleging transphobia, bullying and discrimination.
But the costly barrister-led probe was abruptly suspended last week after a widespread backlash at a suspected plot by ‘ideologically motivated’ civil servants to oust her.
Now Mrs Badenoch, the minister for women and equalities who oversees the watchdog, has privately vowed that she will not allow the peer to be forced out of office.
A source said: ‘Kemi has huge admiration for Baroness Falkner, who she has found to be a woman of incredible courage and tenacity.
Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Kishwer Falkner, Baroness Falkner of Margravine (pictured) was being investigated following complaints of transphobia
‘She will wait on the EHRC to conclude its investigations but has made it clear privately that she will not allow people navigating incredibly contentious, complex and indeed novel issues to be hounded from office for doing their job.’
Liz Truss, who appointed Baroness Falkner, 68, to the EHRC in 2020, also defended her at the weekend.
‘I knew she would be fearless and brave in tackling the issues on its agenda,’ she told The Times.
‘She is right to challenge the orthodoxy being pushed by a minority of activists which the public does not support.’
Insiders at the EHRC believe the baroness was targeted with the dossier of more than 40 ‘trivial’ and ‘petty perceived slights’ after backing reforms guarding the rights of biological women in sport and single-sex spaces.
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