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UK's Priti Patel resigns as home secretary after Truss victory

Her resignation comes after Liz Truss won the race to become the UK's next prime minister
Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel meets officers during a visit with members of the Thames Valley Police, at the police station in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on 31 August 2022 (AFP)

Priti Patel, who served as Britain’s home secretary since 2019, has officially resigned. 

The announcement came today just hours after Liz Truss was named the winner of a Conservative Party leadership contest to become the next prime minister. Truss will be taking office on Tuesday. 

“I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new leader, and will give her my support as our new Prime Minister," Patel said in her resignation letter to outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson.

"It is my choice to continue my public service to the country and the Witham constituency from the backbenches, once Liz formally assumes office and a new home secretary is appointed."

“From the backbench, I will champion many of the policies and causes I have stood up for both inside and outside of government.”

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Patel made the headlines during her time as home secretary. Earlier this year, her Nationality and Borders Bill caused significant controversy.

Parts of the bill included plans to process refugees offshore, blocking or criminalising anyone who does not arrive in the United Kingdom as part of one of the Home Office's pre-arranged resettlement routes, and revoking British citizenship without notice.

It was criticised by many, including the United Nations, with UN experts saying the British government's use of citizenship-stripping powers is likely discriminatory and unlawful because of its disproportionate impact on Muslim and migrant communities.

In 2019, Patel intervened to block a rescue operation to bring British orphans and unaccompanied minors home from Syria, the Guardian reported. 

Patel, along with several other ministers, including Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, last month objected to the extraction of British children from the war-ravaged country, the sources said. 

Their opposition meant that a late-October rescue operation was abandoned because Patel, Wallace and Chancellor Sajid Javid said the children posed “security concerns”, according to the newspaper’s website.

More notably, however, she resigned from her position in 2017 as the UK's secretary of state for international development for having undisclosed meetings with senior Israeli politicians. 

In a letter to then UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Patel apologised and admitted that her actions "fell below the standards of transparency and openness".

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