Born In: London, England, United Kingdom
Priti Patel is a British politician who served as Home Secretary from 2019 to 2022 under Prime Minister Boris Johnson before resigning following the latter’s resignation. A self-proclaimed Thatcherite, she was briefly involved with the Referendum Party during her early career. She also worked for the PR firm Weber Shandwick before actively joining politics. Following recommendation by David Cameron, she was elected MP for Witham at the 2010 general election and has since been re-elected three times. She was the Minister of State for Employment and was vice-chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel under Cameron’s government and led the “Vote Leave” campaign for Brexit during the 2016 referendum on UK’s membership of the European Union. She was later appointed Secretary of State for International Development by new Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016, but was asked to resign in November 2017 following revelations about her unauthorized meetings with the Government of Israel breaching the Ministerial Code. She briefly worked for Viasat as a strategic adviser before being appointed Home Secretary by Boris Johnson in July 2019.
Also Known As: Priti Sushil Patel
Spouse/Ex-: Alex Sawyer (m. 2004)
father: Sushil Patel
mother: Anjana Patel
children: Freddie Sawyer
Born Country: England
Notable Alumni: University Of Keele
education: University Of Essex, University of Keele, Watford Grammar School for Girls
Priti Sushil Patel was born on March 29, 1972 in London, England, the United Kingdom, to Sushil and Anjana Patel, who had emigrated from Uganda to the UK in the 1960s and settled in Hertfordshire. Her paternal grandparents were from Gujarat, India who immigrated to Uganda and ran a convenience store in Kampala.
She attended Watford Grammar School in Watford, Hertfordshire, and later obtained her economics degree from Keele University. She subsequently pursued postgraduate study in British government and politics at University of Essex.
Priti Patel was heavily influenced by former Conservative leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and joined the Conservative Party in 1991. Following graduation, she was selected by Andrew Lansley as an intern at Conservative Central Office (now known as Conservative Campaign Headquarters).
After Eurosceptic billionaire Sir James Goldsmith founded the Referendum Party, she left her position to head the press office of the new party in 1995. However, she rejoined the Conservative Party in 1997 after William Hague became Conservative leader and offered her his deputy press secretary post.
In 2000, she left the Conservative Party to work for the PR consulting firm Weber Shandwick where her team was tasked with managing public image of client British American Tobacco (BAT). While the controversy regarding the company ended only after it pulled out of Burma in 2003, BAT employees later told The Guardian that unlike many at Weber Shandwick, Priti's group was not uncomfortable working with them.
Priti, whose responsibilities at Weber Shandwick also included lobbying MEPs against EU tobacco regulations, left the company three years later in 2003 to work in corporate relations for British multinational alcoholic beverages company, Diageo. She later rejoined Weber Shandwick in 2007 as Director of Corporate and Public Affairs practices.
She advanced her political career by becoming a Conservative candidate for Nottingham North in the 2005 general election, but lost to incumbent Labour MP Graham Allen. Nevertheless, she was identified as a promising candidate by new party leader David Cameron and secured a place on the "A-List" of Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates (PPC).
In November 2016, she was chosen as the PPC for the safe Conservative seat of Witham, a new constituency in central Essex, and went on to win majority votes at the 2010 general election. She was subsequently drafted into the new Number 10 Policy Unit in October 2013 and was promoted to Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in summer 2014.
Priti Patel, together with fellow Conservative MPs Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Liz Truss, was considered the "Class of 2010" representing the party’s “new Right” who co-authored Britannia Unchained in 2012. The political book stated that “the British are among the worst idlers in the world” and argued for emulating working conditions in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, rather than other European nations.
She retained her parliamentary seat in the general election of May 2015 and was able to increase her majority. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her Minister of State for Employment in the Department for Work and Pensions in his government and she was sworn on to the Privy Council on May 14.
She became the “poster girl” for the “Vote Leave” campaign after Cameron announced the “Brexit” referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Union or not. However, after she launched the Women for Britain campaign for anti-EU women and compared it with that of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes, she was criticized by Emmeline's great-granddaughter Helen Pankhurst.
After Cameron resigned following the success of the Brexit campaign, she openly supported Theresa May as his successor, who later appointed her Secretary of State for International Development after becoming Prime Minister in July 2016. In that capacity, she emphasized international development through trade instead of aid, opposed the construction of affordable homes at the Lakelands development in Stanway, and ordered review of the DFID funds to support Palestinian territories.Priti, who allegedly "harassed and belittled" staff in her private office in early 2017, was revealed to have held several meetings in Israel in August, while on a "private holiday", without informing the Foreign Office. While she claimed that Boris Johnson knew about it, there were calls for her resignation for breaching the ministerial code, prompting her to apologize publicly.
Priti, who allegedly "harassed and belittled" staff in her private office in early 2017, was revealed to have held several meetings in Israel in August, while on a "private holiday", without informing the Foreign Office. While she claimed that Boris Johnson knew about it, there were calls for her resignation for breaching the ministerial code, prompting her to apologize publicly.
She was summoned by Prime Minister May on November 6 to be "reminded of her responsibilities", but it was soon revealed that she had more meetings with Israeli officials that she failed to inform May. She was subsequently summoned again on November 8th and was asked to resign from her cabinet position.
She was appointed Home Secretary by Boris Johnson after he became the Prime Minister in July 2019, and in December that year, she was re-elected as MP for Witham with an increased majority votes. As Home Secretary, she introduced a points-based immigration system, brokered an asylum deal with Rwanda to address the English Channel migrant crossings, approved the extradition of Julian Assange, and commissioned independent review of Border Force.
Amidst allegations of bullying against her, a November 2020 Cabinet Office inquiry found evidence that she had breached the ministerial code, but Johnson dismissed the findings stating he had "full confidence" in her. After Johnson resigned and Liz Truss was set to be elected as the next Prime Minister, Priti tendered her resignation as Home Secretary on September 5, 2022, effective from September 6th.
Priti Patel got married to Alex Sawyer, a marketing consultant for the stock exchange NASDAQ, in 2004 and they have a son, born in August 2008. Sawyer is also a Conservative councilor and Cabinet Member for Communities on the council of the London Borough of Bexley.
In March 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Priti Patel was asked in a prank video call by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus impersonating Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal if Britain would accept neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists. After she answered in the affirmative, confusing "Ukrainian nationalists" with "Ukrainian nationals", her statement was interpreted by Russian state media to mean that Britain would “help Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis in every possible way".
How To Cite
People Also Viewed