POLITICS
25/07/2019 10:59 AM IST

Priti Patel Was Just Made UK Home Secretary – But Who Is She?

Boris Johnson just made her one of the most influential politicians in the UK – but how much do you know about Priti Patel?

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Priti Patel has been made home secretary in Boris Johnson’s new-look cabinet. 

Just hours after Johnson was named prime minister, it was revealed that Patel would be taking over the role, which is considered one of the four great offices of state. 

The post was previously held by Sajid Javid, who was named chancellor in Johnson’s shuffle of the Tory frontbench on Wednesday. 

The appointment makes Patel, an Indian-origin MP, one of the most influential politicians in the country – but how much do you know about her? 

What’s Her Track Record In Parliament? 

The MP for Witham in Essex, Patel was first elected back in 2010. Since then, she has served as Exchequer secretary and a work and pensions minister – but it was her stint as international development secretary that landed her in the headlines. Or, more specifically, her *resignation* as international development secretary in 2017. 

The 47-year-old was effectively forced to quit the cabinet after it came to light she had held unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Called back from an official trip to Africa by Theresa May after details of the meetings emerged, journalists across the UK tracked Patel’s flight as she headed back to the country for a thorough ticking-off from the PM. 

It’s yet to be seen whether her latest stint in the cabinet will be able to deliver such high levels of drama. 

What’s Her Stance On Brexit? 

To say Patel is a staunch Brexiteer is a bit of an understatement. A campaigner for Vote Leave during the EU referendum, she also launched the anti-EU ‘Women for Brexit’ group, likening the Leave campaign to the fight of the suffragettes. 

Just like women fighting for the vote in the early 20th century, Brexit campaigners were fighting to protect “our democratic freedom”, she said back in 2016. (Helen Pankhurst – great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline did *not* agree.) 

What Kind Of Home Secretary Will She Be? 

It would be unfair to pre-judge Patel’s performance before she’s even had a single day in office as home secretary. But an appearance she made on Question Time back in 2011 might leave some *slightly* concerned that she’s now in charge of national security. 

Arguing that murderers and rapists get sent to prison, only to reoffend after they are released, she told the audience: “On that basis alone, I would actually support the re-introduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent.” 

She has since U-turned on the issue, saying she does not support the death penalty at home or abroad.