Patel, Priti


Priti Patel has served as Home Secretary since 2019, having briefly served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development between 2016 and 2017.

She was previously a junior Minister at Employment (2015-2016) and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (2014-2016).

A Brexit-supporter, Patel sits on the right of the Conservative party.

Priti Patel leaves Downing Street after being made home secretary

Home Secretary

Having supported Boris Johnson during the 2019 Conservative election campaign, Patel was awarded with one of the four great offices of state: Home Secretary. Having campaigned for Brexit in 2016, Patel enthusiastically drew up the plans for a points based immigration system.

In November 2020, a Cabinet Office inquiry outlined that Patel had breached the ministerial code following several bullying allegations from civil-servants in the three government departments. It was reported that Patel ‘had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect’.

In 2020, Patel criticised Black Live Matter protesters in Bristol for toppling the state of slave-trader Edward Colston, calling it ‘utterly disgraceful’.

In 2022, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced her Rwanda plan through which channel migrants would be transported to Africa.  The Rwanda policy to tackle growing people trafficking across the English channel was heavily criticised by the Archbishop of Canterbury amongst others.

Political Career

In November 2006, Patel became the Conservative candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Witham in  central Essex. She won with a majority of 15,196 at the 2010 General Election.

In 2012, Patel authored the book, ‘Britain Unchained’, alongside four other Conservative MPs: Dominic Raab, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng – all members of the present Cabinet. The book recommended deregulation and contained the line: ‘Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world’.

In 2014, Patel was promoted as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. From this position, Patel became a leading figure in the campaign to leave the EU at the 2016 referendum.

Following the referendum, the new PM, Theresa May, appointed Patel Secretary of State for International Development. But Patel’s tenure ended abruptly 2017 after resigning following unauthorised meetings with the Government of Israel which breached the Ministerial Code.

Before politics

Priti Patel was born in London and educated at a comprehensive girls school in Watford. She went on to study economics at Keele University before completing her postgraduate studies at the University of Essex.

Patel worked in the communications industry for over ten years including a stint at the firm Weber Shandwick. From 1995-1997, Patel headed the press office of the Referendum Party.

Personal life

How old is Priti Patel?
Born in 1972, Priti Patel is in early fifties.  She is the child of Gujarati Indian parents who fled to the UK from Uganda just before Idi Amin’s decision to deport all Asians.

Patel was born in London. Patel’s father, Sushil, once stood for UKIP in local council elections.

Who is Priti Patel’s husband
Patel is married to Alex Sawyer, a marketing consultant. The couple were married in 2004.  Mr Sawyer is also a Conservative Councillor for the London Borough of Bexley. The couple have one son.

How tall is Priti Patel?
Priti Patel is 5 feet and 3 inches tall.  Her husband, Alex Sawyer, is considerably taller.

Further details

Twitter — @pritipatel

Facebook —

Priti Patel attacks Rwanda asylum critics

Priti Patel announces independent inquiry into policing

Silencing Black Lives Matter: Priti Patel’s anti-protest law