S Jaishankar Wishes "Good Friend" Priti Patel, UK's New Home Secretary

Priti Patel, an ardent Brexiteer was among the most vocal critics of Theresa May's Brexit strategy, on Wednesday took charge as Britain's first Indian-origin Home Secretary.

S Jaishankar Wishes 'Good Friend' Priti Patel, UK's New Home Secretary

S Jaishankar congratulated Priti Patel on her appointment as the Home Secretary.

New Delhi:

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday congratulated Priti Patel on her appointment as the Home Secretary in the newly-unveiled Boris Johnson Cabinet.

In his congratulatory tweet, Mr Jaishankar called her a "good friend" and wished her a successful tenure in her new role.

Priti Patel, an ardent Brexiteer was among the most vocal critics of Theresa May's Brexit strategy, on Wednesday took charge as Britain's first Indian-origin Home Secretary.

"I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Home Secretary by our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Looking forward to working UK Home office to prepare our Country for leaving the EU, leading on matters of national security and public safety and keeping our borders secure," she tweeted.

She had been a prominent member of the "Back Boris" campaign for the Conservative Party.

A long-standing Eurosceptic, Priti Patel had steered the Vote Leave campaign in the lead up to the June 2016 referendum in favour of Britain's exit from the 28-nation bloc.

The Gujarati-origin politician is a prominent guest at all major Indian diaspora events in the UK and is seen as an avid supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the UK.

As a member of the UK Parliament's influential Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), she was part of the team that recently released its damning report warning that the UK was falling behind in the race to engage with India at the end of a lengthy Global Britain and India parliamentary inquiry.

5cvs57c8

Photo Credit: Priti Patel is seen as an avid supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the UK. (AFP)

"Our report calls for the government to look again at the relationship between the UK and India," Ms Patel said, in reference to the 'Building Bridges: Reawakening UK-India ties'' report released last month to mark the first-ever India Day in the UK Parliament.

"This should be a special relationship based upon the living bridge between our two great countries and a partnership we should be nurturing. The report covers many of the missed opportunities where the UK should be proactively and bilaterally enhancing our ties. We are soon to have a new PM in the UK, which will provide a welcome change in how we engage India''s re-elected PM Modi," she said at the time.

In 2017, Priti Patel was forced to resign as International Development secretary from the Theresa May cabinet, amid a scandal over her alleged failure to report meetings with officials in Israel without informing the UK Foreign Office. She had maintained it was a private visit and Boris Johnson, then UK foreign secretary, spoke out at the time to back her.

Describing Ms Patel as a "good friend" with whom he worked closely together for Global Britain, he had said it was "quite right that she meets with people and organisations overseas".

But Priti Patel was effectively sacked by Theresa May, forcing her to the Parliament backbenches from where she continued to voice her criticism of Ms May's Brexit plan.

She was among the rebel Tory MPs who consistently voted against the former Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement with the EU as a "bad deal for Britain", which ultimately sealed Theresa May's term as Prime Minister.

(with inputs from agencies)

More News