Priti Patel, an ardent Brexiteer who was among the most vocal critics of Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, on Wednesday took charge as Britain’s first Indian-origin Home Secretary in the newly-unveiled Boris Johnson Cabinet.
Patel had been a prominent member of the ‘Back Boris’ campaign for the Conservative Party leadership and was widely tipped for the plum post in his frontline team.
“It is important that the Cabinet should represent modern Britain as well as a modern Conservative Party,” she said, just hours before her appointment was announced.
After being appointed, she took to Twitter to express her gratitude on being appointed as the Home Secretary and looked forward to it.
I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Home Secretary by our new Prime Minister @borisjohnson. Looking forward to working @ukhomeoffice to prepare our Country for leaving the EU, leading on matters of national security & public safety & keeping our borders secure.
— Priti Patel MP (@patel4witham) July 24, 2019
A long-standing Eurosceptic, Priti Patel had steered the Vote Leave campaign in the lead up to the June 2016 referendum in favour of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).
The 47-year-old was first elected as a Conservative MP for Witham in Essex in 2010 and gained prominence in the then David Cameron led Tory government as his Indian Diaspora Champion.
She went on to be appointed to junior ministerial posts, Treasury minister in 2014 and then Employment Minister after the 2015 General Election, before Theresa May promoted her to Secretary of State in the Department for International Development (DfID) in 2016 until she was forced to resign the post in 2017.
“With Boris Johnson leading the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister, the United Kingdom will have a Leader who believes in Britain, will implement a new vision for the future of the country and a roadmap to move forward and thrive as a self-governing nation that re-establishes our ties with our friends and allies around the world such as India, she told PTI after Johnson won a landslide victory in the Tory leadership contest this week.
“He is committed to securing new and improved trading relationship with our friends in India and ensuring that the values we share — the rule of law, democracy, and dynamic entrepreneurial spirit should be at the heart of one of our most important partners on the global stage, said Patel, who has been a champion of India-UK ties since her time as Indian Diaspora Champion.
(With agency inputs)