Once darling of the UK right, Patel’s future online in battle for asylum
A free trader and a staunch Brexit supporter, Patel’s tough stance on immigration has been a hallmark of her time as Home Secretary, despite her own family background.
When unveiling Britain’s new ‘points-based’ immigration model as it leaves the European Union, Patel conceded on LBC radio in February 2020 that the system would have stopped people like his parents.
They were Gujarati Indians from Uganda who fled to Britain in the 1960s and set up a chain of newspaper shops, shortly before dictator Idi Amin expelled Asians from the African country. from the east.
His political heroine Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of a greengrocer, and Patel says she shares the former Conservative prime minister’s dedication to small business, hard work and frugality.
“Coming from a country where you are persecuted means you want to work hard and contribute to the society where you end up,” she said in a 2012 interview.
Patel said his family’s Hindu values, coupled with his experiences of racist abuse while growing up in Watford, north London, fueled his determination to succeed.
After attending university, Patel ran the press office of the short-lived anti-EU Referendum Party during the 1997 general election, before joining the Conservative leadership’s media operations.
She left in 2000 to work in public and corporate relations, notably for the multinational beverage company Diageo.