Demanding or bully boss, the report that threatens Boris Johnson’s protégé

London Correspondent

Updated:15/11/2020 00: 40h

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Priti Patel He is one of the heaviest weights in the government of Boris Johnson, and also one of the most controversial. The loves and hatreds that it generates are only compared with those of the minister himself, with detractors and worshipers in more or less equal parts. It is easier for characters like Dominic Cummings, whom few seem to put up with, since at least he doesn’t have to deal with the conflicting passions of his followers, of social networks and of the media. In recent times, the Interior Minister also has the spotlights above her head, an attention that if not greater is only due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic that overshadows almost everything else. But his could be a full-blown scandal, with characters like Lord Evans de Weardale, former MI5 chief and current adviser to the premier, demanding the publication of a report on her, investigated for the past eight months by the Cabinet Office for allegations that she had harassed public officials in the Interior Ministry, as well as other departments which you previously worked on.

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson
Priti Patel and Boris Johnson – AFP

Everything exploded with the departure from the ministry of its longest-serving official, Philip Rutnam, that after 33 years in public service she left at the beginning of this year, but not before denouncing the toxic environment supposedly generated by the official. Rude, ungrateful, contemptuous and even hostile, are some of the adjectives with which her collaborators have described her, according to sources cited by the local press, who detail that there are people who worked alongside her and were even “traumatized.” However, other voices speak of her as strong, friendly, sensitive, close, intelligent and charming, even members of the Labor Party, in opposition.

Patel is also targeted for her drive to control illegal immigration, but her critics accuse her of a lack of empathy and even hypocrisy. As the daughter of an immigrant, I know the opportunities that Great Britain offers. Regaining control of our borders does not mean slamming the door, “said the minister at some point, defending herself. Born in the British capital in 1972, her mother and father, both of Indian origin, moved to the United Kingdom fleeing the massive expulsion of Asians ordered by the dictator Idi Amin in Uganda, where his grandparents had emigrated. “My parents were expelled from Uganda,” he said in an interview published in 2015, in which he added that “coming from a country where you are persecuted means that you want to work hard and contribute to the society in which you end up living.” Despite this, she later acknowledged in an interview on LBC radio that her parents may not have been admitted to the UK under the immigration rules that she sets. “You wouldn’t be here,” the interviewer threw at him. Nick Ferrari, to which she replied: “Yes, but let’s also not forget that we are not changing our approach to refugees and asylum seekers, which is very different from a points-based system” for job seekers.

A member of parliament for a decade, she is Eurosceptic, and in the past she has spoken out in favor of the death penalty, although now she is dismissing that option. That raised blisters among human rights groups, which now criticize his policy of asylum and reception of people without papers. Your professional sheet is not smudge-free. During the government of Theresa MayIn 2017, she had to resign from her position as Secretary of International Cooperation after having a series of unauthorized meetings with senior Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a supposed “family vacation” in the country. Less than two years later, Johnson redeemed her, calling her to the position she now holds. She had previously worked as a press officer for the Conservative Party, as well as for the public relations firm Weber Shandwick and the spirits giant Diageo. He had previously studied economics at Keele University and later did a master’s degree in government and politics at the University of Essex.

She is married to Alex Sawyer since 2004, a Nasdaq marketing consultant, with whom he has a 12-year-old son. But even this part of his personal life is not without controversy, as Sawyer had to resign his part-time job as head of Patel’s office, a position he held between 2014 and 2017, after criticism for receiving a salary of 25,000 pounds having two other paid jobs.

But this small woman with a big mind has apparently known how to surf the immense waves of British politics and on multiple occasions has declared that her reference is Margaret Thatcherand his innate “unique ability to understand what moved people.” The comparison may be great, but for now, and despite the attacks of 2020, Patel resists.

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