United Kingdom

Cabinet Office dismisses Twitter complaint against Kemi Badenoch

The Cabinet Office has dismissed a complaint made against Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch by arguing her tirade at a journalist was issued from a 'personal' Twitter account.

Ms Badenoch was widely criticised for accusing Nadine White of 'creepy and bizarre' behaviour after the HuffPost reporter sent a standard request for comment to a Government press office.

The minister published correspondence between the journalist and officials in launching the attack, which led to an alert about the risk to media freedom being registered with the Council of Europe.

Cabinet Office permanent secretary Alex Chisholm responded to a formal complaint from HuffPost by saying Ms Badenoch is responsible for her own conduct on her social media account.

'I note that the tweets were not issued from a government Twitter account, but instead from a personal Twitter account,' his letter said.

The Cabinet Office has dismissed a complaint made against Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch by arguing her tirade at a journalist was issued from a 'personal' Twitter account

'The minister is personally responsible for deciding how to act and conduct herself, and for justifying her own actions and conduct.

Boris Johnson's senior adviser on ethnic minorities, Samuel Kasumu, has reportedly suggested Ms Badenoch may have broken the ministerial code with the tweets.

Downing Street stuck by the minister but the PM's press secretary Allegra Stratton said the MP's handling of the issue 'would not be how we in No10 deal with these things'.

Ms White had asked a Government press office why the Equalities Minister had not appeared in a video targeted at minority groups to promote the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

Ms Badenoch subsequently tweeted that HuffPost had sought to 'sow distrust by making up claims I refused to take part in a video campaign' and said it was 'creepy and bizarre to fixate on who didn't participate in a video and demand they explain themselves'.

She also shared screenshots of two emails sent by Ms White to the department.

Labour said the minister had exposed the reporter to a 'torrent of abuse online' and called for an investigation.

The Cabinet Office, which declined to comment on Mr Chisholm's letter, has not launched an investigation into Ms Badenoch. 

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