• Friday, December 09, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Priti Patel may lose job to Braverman if Truss becomes prime minister

Patel has been a political ally of Truss since they entered Parliament together in 2010.

FILE PHOTO: Home Secretary Priti Patel addresses delegates during the Conservative Party Spring Conference at Blackpool Winter Gardens on March 19, 2022 in Blackpool, England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Only a few days are left for the election of the new British prime minister by the Conservative party. The new Tory leader will be announced on September 5.

As expected, there will be major changes in the cabinet following the election of the new leader.

Latest report suggests that home secretary Priti Patel will be ousted from the Cabinet if Liz Truss becomes prime minister. She will likely be replaced by Suella Braverman, the current attorney general.

According to The Telegraph, Patel does not currently figure in Truss’s plans for government. Another nine of the Tory party’s most senior figures, including deputy prime minister Dominic Raab will also be axed, the report added

The newspaper said that Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove will not find a place in the cabinet along with health secretary Steve Barclay, environment secretary George Eustice, leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer and transport secretary Grant Shapps.

In total, 15 ministers – half of the current Cabinet – could be sacked by Truss that will make way for loyal supporters and rising stars including Kemi Badenoch.

Former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost may also return to government as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

It is reported that the winner will make new appointments on September 6 itself.

Truss has also selected her Number 10 team, which would be headed as chief of staff by Mark Fullbrook. He has been advising the Tories since the final years of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

According to the Telegraph, Patel’s supporters are not happy with Truss’ decision. Her decision to remain neutral in the leadership race by refusing publicly to declare support for either candidate appears to have backfired badly.

Sources told the newspaper that Patel would not accept any role other than that of the home secretary.

Her backers have privately appealed to Truss to keep Patel in her current role, insisting that ‘her political skills should not be underestimated’.

According to them, she would be a huge asset as the party prepares to fight a general election before 2025.

Patel has been a political ally of Truss since they entered Parliament together in 2010. Reports also suggest that Patel has lent members of her staff to the Truss campaign team, and she also backed Truss privately.

One Patel supporter told The Telegraph: “She wants to stay at the Home Office and at the moment she isn’t really interested in another role, because she wants to finish the work she started.

“This is going to be a government that will be fighting battles on all fronts and it needs people who can put out fires elsewhere so it can concentrate on the economy and the cost of living crisis. Priti Patel’s political skills should not be underestimated and there should be room for her in the next Cabinet.”

Backbenches include Greg Clark, brought back by Boris Johnson last month as a caretaker levelling up Secretary, Alok Sharma, whose role as Cop26 president will soon expire, and Nigel Adams, a Johnson ultra-loyalist who was given a Cabinet job as a minister without portfolio, may also get a place in the new cabinet.

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