Priti Patel quits as Home Secretary hours after Liz Truss elected new Tory leader
It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the country with you during your premiership.
In July 2019, when you became Prime Minister, our political system was broken. Parliament was tearing itself apart as some MPs showed contempt for democracy and desperately tried to block Brexit.
You set out a clear plan to get Brexit done, broke the deadlock in Parliament, and secured a historic Conservative victory at the 2019 General Election, winning the largest share of the vote for a political party since Margaret Thatcher.
It has been the honour 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.
We have re-affirmed the Conservative Party’s status as the party of law and order by backing our police with a record £17 billion of investment and funding 20,000 more police officers. We have also introduced tougher punishments for offenders, more help for victims of crime, and reforms in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Bill.
The investment we have given to counter-terrorism activities and backing the intelligence services has helped keep our streets safer and disrupted the activities of those who would otherwise do us terrible harm.
We have used our Brexit freedoms to take back control of our immigration laws with a new points-based immigration system. Our historic Immigration Act has ended free movement and taken back control of our borders. We can now attract the brightest and best from around the world to the UK rather than face the adverse effects of uncontrolled free movement.
Our New Plan for Immigration means that at long last what the British people want is reflected in immigration policy, ending abuses of the immigration and asylum system.
Over the last three years, our approach to reforming immigration laws and fixing our broken asylum system has been firm and fair. I know how frustrating the issue of Channel crossings has been. This is why we fully reviewed all aspects of Channel operations covering ‘push backs’ at sea and military interceptions in the Channel. This led to investments in new measures to prevent crossings and improved our cooperation with the French authorities.
We have been relentless in working domestically and internationally on dismantling the business model of the evil people smuggling gangs that show contempt for human life and profit from the exploitation and misery of others.
In April, I secured the world-first Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda. The partnership with Rwanda is part of a wider strategy, which includes domestic reforms to build Greek style reception centres in the UK to detain and remove migrants, and my planned legislation to reform the National Referral Mechanism and Modern Day Slavery Act, ending the legal merry go round of barriers which stop the Government from removing migrants from the UK. This package of measures will lead to lasting reforms to the UK’s asylum and removal system.
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.
We have also rightly been tough on foreign national offenders and despite the challenges to international travel posed by Covid-19, we have deported nearly 12,000 over the three years to March 2022.
To support this work, I have signed new international returns agreements with India, Albania, Serbia, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with work underway to negotiate more agreements and to remove more people who should not be in this country and who have abused our hospitality.
At the same time, we have strengthened our country’s proud record of providing sanctuary and refuge to those in genuine need by establishing safe routes, including for BNOs, Afghans and Ukrainians. Britain has always been a beacon for freedom and democracy, and I have been proud to work with you over the last three years to make that light shine brighter.
All this has been achieved despite the relentless efforts of our political opponents, and left-wing activists, lawyers and campaigners who have sought to block these measures, regardless of what the majority of people in the UK want. While they stand up for the criminals, terrorists, people smugglers, those with no right to be in the UK, and people who threaten public safety and would do our country harm, we have never faltered and never stopped doing what is right to protect the public.
Under your leadership, we have made our country safer, strengthened law and order, delivered our Manifesto commitments, and laid strong foundations for our successors at Number 10 and in the Home Office to build on.
I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new Leader, and will give her my support as our new Prime Minister. 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 backbenches, I will champion many of the policies and causes I have stood up for both inside and outside of Government.
Thank you for the great honour you have given me, not only in making me Home Secretary, but in supporting me throughout.
The Rt Hon Priti Patel
MP Secretary of State for the Home Department Member of Parliament for Witham”
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