Priti Patel

Priti Patel

Priti Patel is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom, born in 1972 in London [ [ About Priti] , Priti4Witham] in the UK of Ugandan Indian immigrant parents.

Patel grew up in South Harrow and Ruislip, and joined the Conservative Party during the time John Major was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Studying economics at Keele University and then going on to the University of Essex, after graduating, Patel persuaded Andrew Lansley (now a frontbencher, then a Head of the Conservative Research Department) to give her a job at Conservative Central Office. From 1995 to 1997, she worked for the Referendum Party, for Sir James Goldsmith, heading up the press office.

After the 1997 General Election, the Conservative Party changed its policy on the euro to being that they would only join the euro if there was a referendum on the issue. The Referendum Party broke up, and Patel rejoined the Conservative Party to work for the new leader William Hague in his Press Office dealing with media relations in London and the South East.

Following an article in the Financial Times in August 2003 [ [ Would-be Tory MP says party has racist elements] Financial Times] , where she controversially stated that there were racist attitudes persisting in the Conservative Party ("Racist attitudes do persist within the party.... There's a lot of bigotry around."), she wrote to the FT [ [ Overwhelmed by the support of party members] ] to complain that the article misinterpreted her comments in implying that she had been being blocked as a candidate for the party because of her ethnicity. She stated that "the reason I have not yet been selected for a seat is simply because I obviously have not demonstrated that I would be the best possible candidate, and not, as pointed out to your correspondent, because of the colour of my skin".

She left politics and worked in consultancy for major companies. In the 2005 General Election, she stood as the Conservative Party candidate for Nottingham North (UK Parliament constituency), losing to Labour incumbent Graham Allen [ [,,-1199,00.html Ask Aristotle - Nottingham North: the 2005 General Election] The Guardian] .

Priti Patel was placed on the 'A-List' of Conservative Party candidates ahead of the next general election [ [ A Year On Has the A List Worked?] BBC News] . She put her name forward to succeed Michael Howard - a former Leader of the Party and a former Home Secretary - as Conservative candidate for the relatively safe seat of Folkestone and Hythe, and also applied for the very marginal Labour seat of Hove [ [ Conservative selection for Hove] ] , but was ultimately unsuccessful in obtaining the candidacy in either constituency. Despite making it to the final four in the Mid Norfolk constituency she was also unsuccessful there. However, on 20 November 2006, she was adopted as the Prospective Parliamentary Conservative Candidate for the notionally safe Conservative seat of Witham, a new constituency created under the recent Boundary Review [ [ Priti Patel takes Witham by storm] ] with a notional Conservative majority of 7,241 votes (17.3%).

She continues to oppose British membership of the euro, wants to see Capital Punishment restored and is critical of David Cameron's softer line on many traditional Conservative issues. [ ['Restore%20death%20penalty%20and%20never%20scrap%20the%20pound'%20says%20Priti%20Patel/ restore the Death Penalty and Never scrap the Pound says Priti Patel - This is London] ]


External links

* [ Article on nomination as Conservative PPC for Nottingham North in the 2005 General Election]
* [ Priti Patel campaign site for Witham constituency]

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