Nevertheless, she is now at risk of alienating her conservative base after her plan to discourage unlawful crossings of the Channel by sending asylum seekers to Rwanda ran aground.
Patel insisted she would “not be deterred” after it emerged that every one the migrants as a result of be despatched on the primary aircraft to Rwanda had been eliminated on Tuesday night time following a ruling by the European Court docket of Human Rights.
Failure to resolve the extremely contentious challenge, at a time when migrant crossing numbers are reaching report highs, will ramp up the strain from all sides.
Patel is already reeling from her efficiency over Ukrainian asylum seekers, which led to Prime Minister Boris Johnson side-stepping her and appointing a brand new refugees minister.
All of it quantities to a decline of fortunes for Patel, 50, who has survived one sacking from authorities and a damning inside report into her alleged bullying of civil servants.
A free marketeer and ardent backer of Brexit, Patel's robust stance on immigration has been a trademark of her time answerable for the Residence Workplace, regardless of her circle of relatives background.
When unveiling Britain's new “points-based” immigration mannequin on its exit from the European Union, Patel conceded on LBC radio in February 2020 that the system would have stored out folks like her dad and mom.
They're Gujarati Indians from Uganda who fled to Britain within the Sixties and arrange a series of newspaper outlets, shortly earlier than dictator Idi Amin expelled Asians from the East African nation.
Her political heroine Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of a greengrocer, and Patel says she shares the previous Tory prime minister's devotion to small enterprise, exhausting work and frugality.
“Coming from a rustic the place you are persecuted implies that you wish to work exhausting and to contribute to the society the place you find yourself,” she mentioned in a 2012 interview.
Patel mentioned her household's Hindu values coupled along with her experiences of racist abuse whereas rising up in Watford, north of London, fuelled her willpower to succeed.
After attending college, Patel headed the press workplace for the short-lived anti-EU Referendum Get together within the 1997 common election, earlier than becoming a member of the Conservative management's media operation.
She left in 2000 to work in public and company relations, together with for drinks multinational Diageo.
Then Conservative chief David Cameron positioned Patel on a so-called A-list of potential MPs and put her right into a secure seat within the 2010 common election, earlier than appointing her a junior minister in 2014.
However whereas he tried to steer the Conservatives to extra liberal territory, she voted towards introducing same-sex marriage.
Patel then broke with Cameron to marketing campaign for Brexit within the 2016 referendum, alongside Johnson.
Cameron's successor Theresa Could made Patel worldwide growth secretary when she took workplace in July 2016. It was short-lived.
Could sacked her in November 2017 after it emerged that Patel had pursued her personal freelance diplomacy throughout a household vacation to Israel — together with a gathering with then prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — with out notifying the International Workplace or Downing Road.
However when he took over from Could in July 2019, Johnson introduced Patel again to the cupboard in an much more senior function, answerable for the sprawling Residence Workplace.
Whereas some cupboard members quailed at allegations of lockdown-breaching events in Downing Road, Patel has stood four-square behind Johnson.
Interviewed by Sky Information in January, Patel mentioned she “spends all my time day in, time out” in supporting the prime minister.
With a difficult few months forward, she will probably be hoping that loyalty is repaid.
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