New Delhi: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries have quit ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday as Liz Truss won the Conservative leadership race to take over as the country’s prime minister, reported news agency Reuters. In a resignation letter to the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Patel 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.
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The 50-year-old former home secretary noted many of her achievements in the letter addressed to outgoing Johnson, including a Migration and Mobility Partnership signed with India, among other countries, to tackle illegal migration.
“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. The Gujarati-origin MP took up the position of Home Secretary in the Johnson Cabinet in July 2019.
Backing police to reform in the immigration system
“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,” the letter added.
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.My letter to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/seTx6ikX25
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) September 5, 2022
Sharing her contribution as the head of the Home Office, 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 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.
The 50-year-old MP for Witham in Essex and Johnson loyalist were among a few frontline ministers who didn’t declare their support for either of the two finalists in the Tory leadership contest Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak.
Who will replace Priti Patel?
The portfolio of the Home Secretary is expected to be handed to another Indian-origin minister, Suella Braverman, reported news agency PTI. Braverman, who was a contender in the early rounds of the Tory leadership race currently holds the post of Attorney General. The 42-year-old Goan-origin minister had supported Truss after being knocked out in the second round of ballots of fellow Tory MPs in mid-July besides calling on her supporters to follow suit, reported news agency PTI.
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 wrote in the letter.