87 Facts About Priti Patel


Priti Sushil Patel was born on 29 March 1972 and is a British politician who served as Home Secretary from 2019 to 2022.


Priti Patel is ideologically on the right wing of the Conservative Party; she considers herself to be a Thatcherite and has attracted attention for her socially conservative stances.


Priti Patel was educated at Keele University and the University of Essex.


Priti Patel worked for the public relations consultancy firm Weber Shandwick for several years before seeking a political career.


Priti Patel was elected MP for Witham, a new seat in Essex, at the 2010 general election, and was then re-elected in 2015,2017, and 2019.


In 2017, Priti Patel was involved in a political scandal involving unauthorised meetings with the Government of Israel which breached the Ministerial Code, causing May to request Priti Patel's resignation as International Development Secretary.


Priti Patel was found to have breached the Ministerial Code in relation to incidents of bullying.


Priti Patel was born on 29 March 1972 to Sushil and Anjana Priti Patel in London.


Priti Patel's paternal grandparents were born in Gujarat, India, before emigrating to Uganda, and running a convenience store in Kampala.


Priti Patel's father Sushil was a UKIP candidate for Hertfordshire in 2013.


Priti Patel attended a comprehensive school in Watford, Hertfordshire before going on to study economics at Keele University and then pursuing postgraduate studies in British government and politics at the University of Essex.


Priti Patel joined the Conservative Party in 1991, when John Major was prime minister.


From 1995 to 1997, Priti Patel headed the press office of the Referendum Party, a single-issue Eurosceptic party.


In 1997, Priti Patel rejoined the Conservative Party having been offered a post to work for the new leader William Hague in his press office, dealing with media relations in London and the South East of England.


Priti Patel wrote to the FT countering its article stating that her comments had been misinterpreted to imply that she had been blocked as a party candidate because of her ethnicity.


In 2000, Priti Patel left the employment of the Conservative Party to work for Weber Shandwick, a PR consulting firm.


The article went on to quote BAT employees who felt that though a majority of Weber Shandwick employees were uncomfortable working with them, Priti Patel's group was fairly relaxed.


The article quoted internal documents specifying that a part of Priti Patel's job was to lobby MEPs against EU tobacco regulations.


Priti Patel then moved to the British multinational alcoholic beverages company, Diageo, and worked in corporate relations between 2003 and 2007.


Priti Patel was drafted into the Number 10 Policy Unit in October 2013, and was promoted as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury the following summer.


In October 2014, Priti Patel criticised the plan of the Academies Enterprise Trust to merge the New Rickstones and Maltings Academies, claiming that to do so would be detrimental to school standards.


Priti Patel lodged a complaint with the BBC alleging one-sided coverage critical of Narendra Modi on the eve of his victory in 2014 Indian elections.


In January 2015, Priti Patel was presented with a "Jewels of Gujarat" award in Ahmedabad, India, and in the city she gave a keynote speech at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce.


In December 2015, Priti Patel voted to support Cameron's planned bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria.


Priti Patel said there was a "strong chance" she would put herself forward as a candidate for party leader.


Priti Patel said that the EU is "undemocratic and interferes too much in our daily lives".


Priti Patel publicly stated that immigration from elsewhere in the EU was overstretching the resources of UK schools.


Priti Patel helped to launch the Women for Britain campaign for anti-EU women; at their launch party, she compared their campaign with that of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes, for which she was criticised by Emmeline's great-granddaughter Helen Pankhurst.


In November 2017, Priti Patel was critical of the UK government Brexit negotiations and stated: "I would have told the EU in particular to sod off with their excessive financial demands".


On taking the position, Priti Patel stated that too much UK aid was wasted or spent inappropriately, declaring that she would adopt an approach rooted in "core Conservative principles" and emphasise international development through trade as opposed to aid.


That same month, the council's chief executive Adrian Pritchard issued a complaint against Priti Patel, claiming that she had acted "inappropriately" in urging Sajid Javid to approve the construction of an out-of-town retail park after it had already been rejected by Colchester Council.


Priti Patel was critical of the UK's decision to invest DFID funds to support the Palestinian territories through UN agencies and the Palestinian Authority.


Priti Patel was given the award for her public service.


In March 2020, it was reported that while serving as International Development Secretary Priti Patel was alleged to have "harassed and belittled" staff in her private office in 2017.


On 3 November 2017, it was revealed that Priti Patel had held meetings in Israel in August 2017 without telling the Foreign Office.


Priti Patel was accompanied by Lord Polak, honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel.


The meetings, up to a dozen in number, took place while Priti Patel was on a "private holiday".


Priti Patel met Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party, and reportedly made visits to several organisations where official departmental business was discussed.


Priti Patel faced calls to resign, with numerous political figures calling her actions a breach of the ministerial code, which states: "Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise".


Priti Patel released an apology for her actions, and corrected her remarks to The Guardian, which she said gave the false impression that the Foreign Secretary knew about the trip before it happened, and that the only meetings she had had were those then in the public domain.


Priti Patel was replaced by MP Penny Mordaunt the following day.


Priti Patel said that, following her resignation, she was "overwhelmed with support from colleagues across the political divide" and from her constituents.


In May 2018, Priti Patel questioned the impartiality of the Electoral Commission and called for it to investigate Britain Stronger in Europe or to end its inquiry into the Vote Leave campaign.


Priti Patel expressed concern that Britain Stronger in Europe had been provided with services by other remain campaigns without declaring the expenditure in the appropriate way.


Priti Patel was criticised for insensitivity by several other MPs in the light of Britain's part in Ireland's Great Famine in the 19th century, in which a million people died.


Priti Patel said her comments had been taken out of context.


In March 2019, Priti Patel backed a pamphlet published by the TaxPayers' Alliance which called for the international development budget to be reformed, and for the UK alone to decide what constitutes aid, rather than international organisations.


Priti Patel was appointed Home Secretary by Johnson in July 2019.


In February 2020, Priti Patel launched a points-based immigration system, which took effect from 1 January 2021.


On 1 October 2021, Priti Patel banned the use of EU Identity Cards as a travel document for entering the UK, stating that almost half of all false documents detected at the UK border the year previous were ID cards.


In February 2022, Priti Patel scrapped the tier 1 investor visa for wealthy people outside of the EU who invest in the UK, in what was called the start of a "renewed crackdown on illicit finance and fraud".


Priti Patel said she did not share those views but it was a reason why many migrants were crossing the Channel.


Priti Patel has vowed to make the Channel "unviable" for migrant boats.


In September 2020, Priti Patel suggested that Ascension Island, which is more than 4,000 miles from the UK, could be used to build an asylum processing centre.


In March 2021, Priti Patel published a New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement, which included proposals to reform the immigration system, including the possibility of offshore processing of undocumented immigrants.


In November 2021, following the November 2021 English Channel disaster, the French government withdrew an invitation to Priti Patel, to attend a meeting about the Channel boats crisis, after Johnson called on France to take back people who crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats.


In February 2022, Priti Patel commissioned Alex Downer, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia's Liberal Party, to conduct an independent review of Border Force.


Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, described the review as "incredibly damning" and accused Priti Patel of failing to "to get any grip of Britain's borders".


In February 2020, Priti Patel came under scrutiny for trying to "force out" Sir Philip Rutnam, the most senior civil servant in her department.


Rutnam alleged that Priti Patel had orchestrated a "vicious" campaign against him.


Several days later, Priti Patel sent an email to Home Office staff in which she expressed regret at Rutman's decision to resign and thanked him for his service.


In November 2020, a Cabinet Office inquiry found evidence that Priti Patel had breached the ministerial code following allegations of bullying in the three government departments in which she had served.


Priti Patel said that she had "never set out to upset anyone" and that she was "absolutely sorry for anyone that I have upset".


In June 2020, Priti Patel urged the public not to partake in the UK protests brought along by the murder of George Floyd in the United States, due to the coronavirus outbreak.


Priti Patel criticised Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Bristol for toppling the statue of Edward Colston, calling it "utterly disgraceful".


In June 2021, Priti Patel criticised the England national football team for kneeling against racism before their Euro 2020 games, describing it as "gesture politics".


Priti Patel further said that spectators had the "choice" to boo the players for doing so.


Priti Patel called for a police crackdown, saying she "refuses point blank to allow that kind of anarchy on our streets" and "the very criminals who disrupt our free society must be stopped".


On 3 September 2020, Priti Patel tweeted that the removal of migrants from the United Kingdom was being "frustrated by activist lawyers".


Priti Patel's tweet came a week after the Home Office was forced by permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft to remove a video posted on its Twitter feed using similar terminology.


Priti Patel's comments were again met with criticism from both inside and outside of the legal profession.


Priti Patel was extensively condemned for her visit by human rights groups and the mistreated prisoners of Bahrain.


In May 2021, Priti Patel was accused of lobbying Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, on behalf of Pharmaceuticals Direct Ltd, a healthcare firm, that sought a government contract to provide personal protective equipment.


PDL's director, Samir Jassal, previously worked as an adviser to Priti Patel and stood as a Conservative candidate at two general elections.


On 15 March 2022, Priti Patel was the victim of a prank video call by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus who were accused by Britain of working for Russia.


Priti Patel's comments were picked up by Russian state media, including RIA Novosti, which interpreted her comments as meaning she was "ready to accept and help Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis in every possible way".


On 5 September 2022, in anticipation of the appointment of Liz Truss as Prime Minister, Priti Patel tendered her resignation as Home Secretary which was effective from 6 September.


Priti Patel endorsed Boris Johnson in the October 2022 Conservative Party Leadership Election.


Priti Patel is considered to be on the right-wing of the Conservative Party, with the Total Politics website stating that some saw her as a "modern-day Norman Tebbit".


Priti Patel has cited Margaret Thatcher as her political hero, and has described herself as a "massive Thatcherite," with various news sources characterising her as such; while profiling Priti Patel for The Independent, Tom Peck wrote that she "could scarcely be more of a Thatcherite".


Priti Patel previously served as a vice-chair of Conservative Friends of Israel.


Priti Patel has taken robust stances on crime, attracting media attention when she argued for restoration of capital punishment on the BBC's Question Time in September 2011, although in 2016 she stated that she no longer held this view.


Priti Patel opposes prisoner voting, and has opposed allowing Jeremy Bamber, who was convicted of murder in her constituency, access to media to protest his innocence.


Priti Patel voted against the Marriage Bill in 2013, which led to introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales.


Priti Patel has been criticised for raising issues in the House of Commons related to her time working for the tobacco industry.


Priti Patel has campaigned with the drinks industry, holding a reception in parliament for the Call Time On Duty Campaign in favour of ending the alcohol duty supertax, a tax opposed by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the Scotch Whisky Association and the TaxPayers' Alliance.


Priti Patel is a Conservative councillor and Cabinet Member for Communities on the council of the London Borough of Bexley.