Priti Patel’s height: How tall is the MP? Priti Patel has become an increasingly prominent figure as Home Secretary. Here’s a snapshot, looking at her family background, husband and how she entered politics.

First things first, what is Priti Patel’s height?

Patel is reported as 5ft 3in or 5ft 6in depending on the source. Whatever the truth, she’s the shortest member of the cabinet, albeit one of the longest serving.

The MP’s family and background

Priti Patel comes from a vastly different background than many of her contemporaries in government and parliament. 

Her parents are of Indian Ugandan heritage. They had to flee Uganda in 1972 after the brutal Idi Amin regime gave all Ugandan Asians 90 days to leave the country.

“My parents were kicked out of Uganda,” she said in an interview reported in 2015. “There was a desire to work hard and be successful so you didn’t have to rely on anybody else.

“Coming from a country where you’re persecuted means you want to work hard and contribute to the society where you end up.”

NORTHALLERTON, ENGLAND – JULY 30: Home Secretary, Priti Patel visits The North Yorkshire police with Prime Minster, Boris Johnson and are introduced to recently graduated Police Officers on July 30, 2020 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England. (Photo by Charlotte Graham – WPA Pool/Getty)

Patel was born in London 48 years ago. Her parents established a chain of newsagents in south east England, something she has in common with one of her inspirations, Margaret Thatcher, whose family also ran a small business.

In light of her family’s experiences, Patel was asked earlier this year about her approach to immigration and refugees. Criticism of her response to the Windrush inquiry and child refugees has caused considerable contention.

The Independent reported in February that when interviewer Nick Ferrari, also from an immigrant background, told the home secretary that under the government’s new points system “you wouldn’t be here”, she replied: “Yeah, but also let’s not forget we are not changing our approach to refugees and asylum seekers.”

Who is Priti Patel’s husband?

Patel attended Watford Grammar School, which at the time was a non-selective girls’ comprehensive.

 

She studied economics at Keele University and went on to take a Masters in British government and politics at the University of Essex. Patel married husband Alex Sawyer in 2004. They have one young son.

How Patel became involved in politics

Patel describes herself as inspired by Margaret Thatcher, feeling she “had a unique ability to understand what made people tick”. She joined the Conservative Party as a teenager.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 11: Conservative MP, Priti Patel speaks at the Copper Box Arena on December 11, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. Boris Johnson spent the final day of the general election campaign visiting constituencies from West Yorkshire to Wales, trying to persuade voters to elect Conservative MPs and give him a governing majority to secure his Brexit deal. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

After graduating, she became an intern at Conservative Central Office – now known as Conservative Campaign Headquarters – followed by a stint working in the press office for the Eurosceptic Referendum Party. In 1997, she worked in then leader William Hague’s press office. 

In 2000, she left the role to work for PR firm Weber Shandwick. The role subsequently drew attention after an investigative report by the Guardian alleged she worked on a controversial British American Tobacco account.

The newspaper also alleged Patel lobbied against EU tobacco regulations. Patel has declined to speak on the matter and has referred requests for comment to a law firm. 

After moving on to work for drinks company Diageo, Patel returned to politics, being elected MP for Witham in 2010.

In 2013 she was appointed the inaugural Prime Minister’s UK India Diaspora Champion. She has also served as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for victims and witnesses of crime, and vice-chairman of the Indo-British APPG.

A year later she was appointed minister for employment at the Department for Work and Pensions. She also served as secretary of state for international development before resigning last year.

Priti Patel rejoined the cabinet last year as Home Secretary.

She’s not the only one in her family to become involved in politics. In 2013, her father announced his intention to stand as a UKIP candidate, although he withdrew his candidacy 90 minutes after it was announced. 

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