Plain-speak­ing Priti backs the death penalty

Daily Mail - - News - By Ta­mara Co­hen Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

PRITI Pa­tel will at­tend Cabi­net as jobs min­is­ter, a move which will de­light the Right of the party.

The 43-year-old will be only the sec­ond Asian woman to sit at the top ta­ble, af­ter for­mer For­eign Of­fice min­is­ter Baroness Warsi.

An MP for five years, Miss Pa­tel was made Ex­che­quer Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury last year, over­see­ing tax pol­icy, and was a regular in TV stu­dios dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

A Euroscep­tic, she is a be­liever in low taxes and is out­spo­ken about the need for wel­fare cuts. She has also hit the head­lines for say­ing she sup­ported the death penalty for the most se­ri­ous crimes.

Mar­ried Miss Pa­tel is the daugh­ter of Ugan­dan Asians who fled to Bri­tain in the 1 70s when dic­ta­tor Idi Amin per­se­cuted the In­dian com­mu­nity and or­dered them out within 0 days.

‘My par­ents were kicked out of Uganda,’ she said in an in­ter­view. ‘They came to the UK with noth­ing, worked hard and set up a suc­cess­ful shop busi­ness.

‘There was a de­sire to work hard and to be suc­cess­ful so you didn’t have to rely on any­body else. Com­ing from a coun­try where you’re per­se­cuted means that you want to work hard and to con­trib­ute to the so­ci­ety where you end up.

‘You be­come pa­tri­otic be­cause you make your new coun­try your home, and, as a re­sult, you live and play by its val­ues’. Ed­u­cated at a gram­mar school in Wat­ford and Keele Uni­ver­sity, Miss Pa­tel joined the party un­der John Ma­jor.

The new Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter is deputy to Work and Pen­sions Sec­re­tary Iain Dun­can Smith, with re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing job­seek­ers’ al­lowance and youth un­em­ploy­ment.

Although Miss Pa­tel is not a sec­re­tary of state, David Cameron con­firmed she will at­tend Cabi­net, as did her pre­de­ces­sor Esther McVey.

The role is likely to in­volve over­see­ing con­tro­ver­sial cuts to wel­fare benefits, in ef­forts to slash £12bil­lion in this area while pro­tect­ing pen- sions. Miss Pa­tel, who has a six-yearold son, wrote in a blog last year that un­der Labour the wel­fare sys­tem ‘bound peo­ple to de­pen­dency’. She ex­pressed con­cern that ‘claimants who have never worked … en­joy a life­style that many other house­holds could not af­ford.’

The Witham MP has been a lead­ing critic of soft sen­tenc­ing and votes for pris­on­ers, and said in 2011 that the death penalty should be rein­tro­duced for the most se­ri­ous crimes.

She de­fected from the Tories in 1 5 to James Gold­smith’s Ref­er­en­dum Party, but re­turned to the Con­ser­va­tives two years later.

Ready for work: Priti Pa­tel ar­riv­ing at Num­ber Ten yes­ter­day

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