The United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has decided to resign from her position after Liz Truss defeated Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership election, thus becoming the new Prime Minister of UK after Boris Johnson. The 50-year-old Patel, in her resignation letter to Boris Johnson, said that she wants to “continue my public service to the country and the Witham constituency from the backbenchers”.

Who is Priti Patel?

Priti Patel is a second-generation Ugandan-Indian immigrant who was born in London and raised in Hertfordshire. Patel’s father was associated with the UK Independence Party. 

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She received an undergraduate degree in economics from Keele University and pursued her masters’ from the University of Essex where she specialized in British government and policies.

Patel has cited former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as her inspiration, and she herself joined Thatcher’s Conservative Party in 1991 when John Major was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The former UK Home Secretary began her professional career as an intern for the Conservative Central Office. She quit the party in 1995 and joined the Referendum Party, but was back among the Tories in 1997. Patel has also worked for a public relations company, Weber Shandwick, and an alcoholic beverages company, Diageo.

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Patel first became a Member of Parliament in 2010 from Witham. She was made the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in 2014. When India elected Narendra Modi as its Prime Minister in the same year, she criticized the BBC by saying that it was biased against Modi, who belonged to the same state of Gujarat where her paternal grandparents were born.

The Vote Leave campaign, that was launched to urge UK citizens to vote in favour of Brexit, was supported by Patel. She was appointed as the Home Secretary by Boris Johnson when he became the Prime Minister in 2019.