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Kemi Badenoch sounds the siren for freedom of speech after fighting over gender-neutral toilets

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Kemi Badenoch sounds the siren for free speech as she reveals she had to fight the civil service over a gender-neutral toilet ban

  • Kemi Badenoch fought awake officials on gender neutral toilet ban
  • She told how Whitehall officials tried to thwart her recently announced plan
  • She also said she had met doctors who were afraid to speak out and teachers who were under pressure to stop using the word woman.

A rising star of the leadership contest has revealed how she had to battle awake officials to push through a ban on gender-neutral toilets.

Kemi Badenoch told how Whitehall officials tried to thwart her recently announced plan to ensure that all new public buildings should have separate bathrooms for men and women.

She also said she had met doctors who were afraid to speak out and teachers who were under pressure to stop using the word woman.

The former minister, whose bid to succeed Boris Johnson is backed by Michael Gove, said: “As a Conservative, I believe that an individual’s right to form their own opinion is the cornerstone of a good and free society.

‘We cannot hope to function well as a society if we cannot debate ideas. The horrifying effect is all too real.’

Kemi Badenoch told how Whitehall officials tried to thwart her recently announced plan to ensure that all new public buildings should have separate bathrooms for men and women.

The 42-year-old stepped down as minister of local government, faith and communities last week

The 42-year-old stepped down as minister of local government, faith and communities last week

The 42-year-old, who stepped down as minister for local government, faith and communities last week, told a free speech in parliament yesterday: ‘As a minister, I met clinicians who were unable to express honest professional opinions about patients, schools and NHS trusts that felt pressured to end using the words woman and girl.

“On the abolition of gender neutral toilets, you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get that through. I had officials write on the notes I sent out and said you can’t say that, you should see if you can say that.’

But to the applause of the audience, she insisted, “I haven’t changed a word.”

Miss Badenoch said it was wrong to claim that concerns about free speech are “a cover for bigoted white men,” pointing out that “left-wing feminists” like JK Rowling were being persecuted.

She added: “The aim of the intimidating mafia rule against these women has one clear goal: to silence them.”

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