Priti Patel was brought back in to the heart of Government in July, less than two years after quitting the Cabinet in disgrace.
The daughter of Gujarati Ugandan Asian who fled the regime of Idi Amin, she picked up her Tory values and work ethic from her parents.
The right-winger and vocal Brexiteer was brought into one of the top political posts after being forced to resign by Theresa May over secret meetings with Israeli officials, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Originally from Gujarat in India, her maternal family moved to Uganda in the early 20th century and prospered in business.
But like all the 80,000 Asians living there, they were expelled by the murderous dictator Idi Amin in the Seventies and had all their possessions seized.
Her parents, Sushil and Anjana, initially lodged in one small room in North London while he completed his studies in engineering.
Eventually, they were able to buy a small house in Harrow and used that to secure a bank loan for their first shop, a newsagent in Tottenham.
Priti and her younger sister and brother were frequently called upon to work alongside their parents in the several shops and sub-post offices they ran in Nottingham, Ipswich and Norwich.
When Priti became secondary school age, the family bought an upmarket chocolate shop in Hertfordshire where there were good state schools, including Watford Grammar where she was head girl.
The family were ‘very outward facing, very international but we’re very conservative in terms of our values,’ she says. ‘My parents are shopkeepers and had a hard time getting established in the UK.’
The experience informed her politics — just as it did the young Thatcher, daughter of a Grantham grocer.
Elected to Parliament in 2010 at the age of 38, Ms Patel achieved ministerial rank four years later as exchequer secretary to the Treasury, before promotion to employment minister following David Cameron’s 2015 general election victory.
She was one of the ministers who took advantage of Mr Cameron’s decision to allow members of his Government to argue on both sides of the EU referendum and played a prominent role in the Leave campaign.
Her appointment as international development secretary was greeted with concern by some in the aid community, who recalled that she had previously called for her new ministry to be replaced by a Department for International Trade and Development with greater focus on boosting UK business opportunities in the developing world.
Her views on the death penalty were thrust into the spotlight in 2011 when she used an appearance on Question Time to say she would ‘support the reintroduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent’ to ‘murderers and rapists’ who re-offend.
But in 2016, she told MPs that she did not support the death penalty.
The 47-year-old Witham MP was born in Harrow, north London, the daughter of parents who came to Britain from Idi Amin’s Uganda in the 1960s.
She studied at a comprehensive school in Watford before taking a degree in economics, sociology and social anthropology at Keele University and a post-graduate diploma in government and politics at Essex.