Priti Patel brings controversial three-year reign as UK home secretary to an end

Fierce Boris Johnson loyalist calls time in great office of state the 'honour of my life' amid reports the next UK PM Liz Truss is set to replace her

Priti Patel's tenure has been marked by controversial policies, not least the Rwandan asylum plan. PA
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Priti Patel has quit as UK Home Secretary following the election of Liz Truss as the new Conservative Party leader.

In her resignation letter to Boris Johnson, shared on social media, Ms Patel said it was her “choice” to continue her public service from the back benches when Ms Truss formally takes up her post as prime minister on Tuesday.

While she pledged her support for the new leader, she said it was “vital” that she continued to support the policies she had pursued to tackle illegal immigration — including the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“It has been the honour of my life to serve as Home Secretary for the last three years,” she tweeted.

“I am proud of our work to back the police, reform our immigration system and protect our country.”

Her departure comes amid reports that Ms Truss is planning to appoint Attorney General Suella Braverman as home secretary when she assembles her new cabinet.

Fiercely loyal to Mr Johnson, she was one of the few cabinet ministers not to declare their support for either Ms Truss or her leadership rival, Rishi Sunak.

Her three years in office have been marked by a series of controversies — not least her attempts to stem the flow of migrants crossing the Channel.

Earlier this year she signed what she described as a “landmark” agreement with Rwanda to send refugees to the East African state to claim asylum there.

However the first deportation flight, which had been due to take off in June, was grounded amid a series of legal challenges and so far no deportations have taken place.

Updated: September 05, 2022, 6:58 PM