LONDON: British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday (Sept 5) resigned her post hours after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was elected by Conservative Party members as their new leader, Anadolu Agency reported.
Truss will meet Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday (Sept 6) where she will be formally named prime minister and asked to form a new government. She will then announce the new Cabinet.
Local media reported that Truss is likely to appoint Attorney General Suella Braverman as the new Home Secretary.
In her resignation statement addressed to outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Patel wrote: “It has been the honor of my life to serve our country as Home Secretary for the last three years and to deliver on our commitments to back and reform our police, stand up for the hard-working law-abiding majority, reform our immigration and asylum system, and fight terrorism. Your support over this period has delivered an unparalleled package of reforms and investment.”
Patel’s tenure as home secretary has been dominated by confronting the issue of illegal migration via small boats crossing the English Channel.
Patel continued: “It is vital that your successor backs all aspects of these policies on illegal migration to ensure the full implementation and delivery of the New Plan for Immigration and Nationality and Borders Act. As we know, there is no single solution to this huge challenge and the government must tackle the full spectrum of issues to halt the illegal entry of migrants to the UK.”
On Johnson’s successor, Patel wrote: “I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new leader, and will give her my support as our new prime minister.”
She said she would choose to continue public service to the country and her Witham constituency, once Truss formally assumes office and a new home secretary is appointed.
Patel’s proposed immigration plan involved taking asylum seekers who illegally crossed the English Channel in small boats and deporting them to Rwanda, Central African, where their claims would be processed.
The plan is currently subject to a series of legal challenges and provoked fury among opposition parties and charities, as well as the Church of England and even within Patel’s party.
From the other side of the spectrum, the number of people reaching British shores via small boats has continued to increase unabated, leading to charges from the political right that she did not solve the issue.
In recent weeks, local media have reported an increase in crime, putting further pressure on Patel.
On the heels of Patel’s announcement, Nigel Adams, a minister of state without a portfolio, also resigned.
Adams, a staunch supporter of Johnson, said in his resignation letter to the outgoing prime minister that he felt the new premier should be able to complement the team they want rather than who they inherit.
He congratulated Truss on his victory but criticized Johnson’s removal from power, which came amid a series of damaging scandals. – Bernama