Priti Patel is not denying that she wants to be next Tory leader

Written by David Singleton on 11 July 2017 in Diary

She is just getting on with the job.

International development secretary Priti Patel has given a strong hint that she wants to be the next Tory leader – by failing to deny that she is after the job.

A recent ConservativeHome ‘cabinet league table’ showed that Tory grassroots members made Patel third favourite to be the next Conservative leader behind David Davis and Boris Johnson.

A handful of right wing Tory MPs have also privately suggested that the 45-year-old MP for Witham could be their best bet to take over from Theresa May.

Asked by the Evening Standard if she wanted the top job, Patel did not even get close to a denial.

Instead, she replied: "Look, the reality is we’ve had the general election. We have a prime minister outlining the programme for Government. It’s important all of us get on with the job."

Elsewhere in the interview, Patel insisted that: "This is a Government getting back to the job after a difficult election campaign…. My colleagues and I are just getting on with the job."

Her non-denial comes a year after Patel removed what would have been one of the biggest obstacles in her path to Number 10.

Having previously been a strong supporter of the death penalty, Patel told MPs in 2016 that she no longer held the highly controversial view.



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