No sooner had newly minted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Priti Patel as Home Secretary (the equivalent of interior minister in other European governments) than the committed right wing of their Conservative Party began breaking out the champagne.
At 47 and the first woman from an ethnic minority (her parents are from Gujarat, India) to hold one of the three most highest offices in the British Cabinet, Patel is almost universally regarded on the right as "the real deal" on issues ranging from immigration to taxes to Brexit.
Even after Brexit supporters cheered the election of PM Johnson, there remained doubts about him. There are no doubts on the right about Patel.
"In my view, Patel should have run for leadership of the party and would have stood a great chance of winning, occupying a position largely to the right of Boris Johnson before a solidly conservative membership base," Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, Britain's oldest conservative foundation, told Newsmax.
Patel, in fact, has not only been likened to Margaret Thatcher but has long embraced Britain’s first woman prime minister as heroine and role model.
"[Patel] could scarcely be more of a Thatcherite," is how the U.K.'s The Independent profiled Patel. Writing in The Guardian, commentator Aditya Chakrabortly dubbed her "an out-and-out right-winger who has no desire to claim the center ground."
Patel earned a post-graduate degree in politics at the University of Essex and spent several years in corporate public relations. Elected to the House of Commons in 2010, she quickly established herself as one of the right's young voices and co-authored a book entitled "Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity" — calling for unabashed deregulation and rolling back the welfare state.
Johnson's tapping of her as Home Secretary is proof no British politician is ever truly finished. Two years ago, as secretary of international development in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Theresa May, Patel met with several leading Israeli politicians during a holiday in Israel.
After the BBC broke the story of the meetings, May summoned Patel to her office to remind her of the "ministerial code" to report all meetings with foreign officials to the government. Patel resigned shortly thereafter, and was one of the first MPs to call for May to go.
The Bow Group's Harris-Quinney noted the Conservative Party quietly dropped its target of reducing immigration to the tens of thousands this year, and PM Johnson has described himself as "the most pro-immigration politician in Britain."
"Patel is much more hardline on immigration," Harris-Quinney said. "As Home Secretary, immigration will now fall under her purview and it would certainly be interesting to see whether her instincts or Boris' win out on this key issue. It would be a smart move by Boris to assuage the doubts that exist about him on the right by listening to Priti Patel."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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