UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday resigned from the Cabinet in a letter to the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said she plans to support his successor Liz Truss from the backbenches of Parliament.
The Indian-origin senior minister, a close ally of Johnson, was widely expected not to be included in the top line-up of Prime Minister elect Truss’ top team.
In her resignation letter addressed to Johnson, 50-year-old Patel highlighted her many achievements in the post, including a Migration and Mobility Partnership signed with India, among other countries, to tackle illegal migration.
It has been the honour of my life to serve as Home Secretary for the last three years.
I am proud of our work to back the police, reform our immigration system and protect our country.
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) September 5, 2022
I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new leader and will give her my support as our new Prime Minister, she wrote in her resignation letter. It is my choice to continue my public service to the country and the Witham constituency from the backbenches once Liz formally assumes office and a new Home Secretary is appointed. From the backbenches, I will champion many of the policies and causes that I have stood for both inside and outside of government, she said.
I have signed new international returns agreements with India, Albania, Serbia, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with work underway to negotiate more agreements and to remove more people who should not be in this country and who have abused our hospitality, she wrote, with reference to some of her work as the head of the Home Office. The portfolio of the Home Secretary is expected to be handed to another Indian-origin minister, Suella Braverman.
Gujarati-origin Patel, who was appointed Home Secretary by Boris Johnson in July 2019, described it as the honour of my life to deliver reforms for the country’s police and immigration system and fighting terrorism. Her letter also references a controversial Rwanda asylum policy to deport illegal migrants to the African nation as part of a wider strategy to crack down on illegal migration. It is vital that your successor backs all aspects of these policies on illegal migration to ensure full implementation and delivery of the New Plan for Immigration and Nationality and Borders Act, she writes.
The 50-year-old MP for Witham in Essex and Johnson loyalist was among a few frontline ministers who had chosen not to declare their support for either of the two finalists in the Tory leadership contest Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak. Earlier on Monday, she praised her former boss in Parliament, telling interrupting Opposition MPs to shut up. I’m proud to serve in this government and I’d like to thank the Prime Minister [Boris Johnson], she said.
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