UK’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Priti Patel as the Home Secretary. With this, Patel has become UK’s first Home Secretary of Indian origin. She will succeed Sajid Javid, who has been appointed Chancellor by the Prime Minister. Javid was also in the Prime Ministerial race, but later on, backed down due to lack of support from the Conservatives. Javid will replace Philip Hammond, who resigned in protest against the election of Johnson as the PM.

A vocal critic of previous Prime Minister Theresa May, Patel is an avid supporter of Brexit. She has also campaigned for Johnson and headed the “Back Boris” campaign. Expressing her gratitude toward the newly elected PM, she tweeted, “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 and public safety and keeping our borders secure.”

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Political career

47-year-old Patel was first elected as a Conservative Party Member of Parliament from Witham in Essex in 2010. She gained prominence in the then David Cameron led Tory government as his Indian Diaspora expert. She held important portfolios in the previous government as well. Patel was Treasury Minister in 2014 and was appointed Employment Minister after the 2015 General Elections. She also served as the Secretary of State in the Department for International Development (DfID) in 2016. She was forced to resign from her post in 2017, after breaching the ministerial code for holding unauthorized meetings with Israeli politicians.

The Gujarati-origin politician is also an avid supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This should be a special relationship based upon the living bridge between our two great countries and a partnership. The report covers many of the missed opportunities where the UK should be proactively and bilaterally enhancing our ties. We are soon to have a new PM in the UK, which will provide a welcome change in how we engage India’s re-elected, PM Modi,” Patel said during the election campaigns, as per NDTV.

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Patel on her new appointment

Praising Johnson, she said, “With Boris Johnson leading the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister, the United Kingdom will have a Leader who believes in Britain. We 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,” according to PTI. Adding further, after Johnson’s appointment, she said, “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.” She is an expert of India-UK ties and issues related to Indian Diaspora.

Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has congratulated Patel on her new appointment.

Picture Credit: Zee News

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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