UK Home Secretary Priti Patel resigned from the Cabinet in a letter to the outgoing Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and said she plans to support successor Liz Truss from the backbenches of Parliament.
The British Indian frontline minister said in her resignation letter addressed to Johnson that it had been the honour of her life to serve as Home Secretary for the past three years, since he appointed her to the post in July 2019.
“I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new leader and will give her my support as our new Prime Minister,” she writes in her resignation
“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.
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While referencing some of the milestones in her high-powered job, Patel added: “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.”
The portfolio of Home Secretary is expected to be handed to another Indian-origin minister, Suella Braverman – the current Attorney General.
“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,” Priti Patel added.
The 50-year-old MP for Witham in Essex 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.
Meanwhile, the former chancellor has also indicated plans to head to the backbenches as he continues to serve his constituents in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
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“I’m now going to be focussed on supporting my constituents first and foremost in North Yorkshire and continuing to be their member of Parliament as long as they’ll have me and giving Liz Truss my full support as the new Conservative government gets on with grappling with the challenges ahead of us now,” said the former British Indian Chancellor, who lost the Tory leadership contest 57 to 43 per cent – a closer result than was widely predicted by pollsters.
Prime Minister elect Liz Truss is expected to keep strengthening relations with India on her agenda, given her past record as the International Trade Secretary who signed off on the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership last year. She has previously said that she plans to work towards Johnson’s Diwali timeline to clinch a free trade agreement (FTA) with India, but even if not by next month then “definitely by the end of the year”.