Priti Patel is reportedly ready to run for prime minister as Boris Johnson may be facing a vote of no confidence.
The Home Secretary is considering throwing her hat in the ring to replace her current boss as both the Conservative party leader and prime minister, according to The Sunday Times.
The rumours come after this week there have been several allegations that government representatives held parties during last year’s winter lockdown.
Running against her own boss whom she backed in election?
Johnson is also facing backlash from other Tories after introducing new Covid restrictions – and if 54 MPs ask for a no confidence vote, the prime minister could lose his job.
Patel could run against her own boss, whom she backed as prime minister in the 2019 general election.
According to The Sunday Times, chancellor Rishi Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss already have donors lined up. Other possible candidates are Michael Gove, Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat and Matt Hancock.
Patel has previously revealed her idol is Margaret Thatcher, saying Thatcher was a “visionary leader” who “inspired, delivered change and left a legacy few politicians can match.” If she were to succeed Boris Johnson, Patel would become the third female prime minister in British history, after Theresa May and Thatcher.
Patel’s idol is Margaret Thatcher
In 2019, the Home Secretary compared herself to Thatcher whilst announcing a £20 million package to tackle drugs, plans to introduce an Australian points-based immigration system and a restrictions lift on stop and search.
She said: “The people’s priorities drive only the Conservative Party, and that means backing our police, our communities and our great country.”
But her time as Home Secretary has not been without controversies.
A recent clause that has been quietly added to the Nationality and Borders Bill has been heavily criticised for paving the way for the Home Office to remove British citizenship without notice – and even act retrospectively.
Clause 9 of the bill, “notice of decision to deprive a person of citizenship”, was updated earlier this month to give the green light to the government to remove the need to give notice if this is not “reasonably practicable”.
Other reasons why the Home Office may do so are related to national security, diplomatic relations and public interest.
The move comes after, earlier this year, Shamima Begum, who left the UK aged 15 to join the Islamic State in Syria, was refused permission to return to the UK and fight a decision to strip her of British citizenship – news which Priti Patel welcomed as “reaffirming” her authority to make “vital national security decisions”.
But scrapping the need to give notice is also making EU citizens in the UK anxious, many more of whom have been spending thousands of pounds on citizenship applications to feel more secure about their lives in Britain after post-Brexit decisions made by the government.
The new citizenship clause would allow the Home Office to apply law retrospectively to people stripped of citizenship without notice before the clause became law, raising questions about the ability to appeal.