Indian-origin MP Priti Patel becomes British Treasury Minister
The Witham MP Priti Patel has been appointed as Treasury Minister in the Prime Minister’s reshuffle.
Priti is Prime Minister’s India Diaspora Champion and accompanied him in his India trips. She met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the high level delegation led by William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne toured India last month.
It’s the first government job for the Essex MP who was first elected in 2010. Ms Patel has a history of supporting campaigns for small businesses, transport infrastructure investment and affordable homes.
Ms Patel worked a press officer for a William Hague when he was Conservative leader. Before that she worked for the anti-EU Referendum Party. She also chairs the all-party parliamentary small shops group.
The 42-year-old is one of the big winners in the Prime Minister’s reshuffle, moving up from a Downing Street policy board to the middle-ranking ministerial position of exchequer secretary dealing with tax policy.
Ms Patel’s parents used to run a rural post office in Norfolk. Born in the London borough of Harrow, she became the Conservatives’ first female Asian MP when she won her Essex seat in 2010. , has said standardised packaging for cigarettes would be “the final nail in the coffin” for hundreds of newsagents.
After entering Westminster in 2010 Ms Patel has sat on the Tory party’s 1922 committee of backbench MPs, and joined the Number 10 policy board last year.She studied economics at Keele University, is married with a five-year-old son.
Ms Patel is a staunch supporter of Indo-UK friendship. In an exclusive article for Asian Lite, she wrote: “The natural ongoing bonds that exist between the UK and India are what makes the foundation of this partnership so strong. And as long-term prosperity is at the heart of both the UK’s and India’s foreign policy, the success of our latest official visit confirms that the future of our partnership is stronger than ever before. Not only do we wish Prime Minister, Modi well in his programme of reform and in his mission to bring real change for all Indian’s across India, but we are proud to call him our friend and we look forward to supporting him as he endeavours to create a new, more inclusive and prosperous India.”