Who is Alex Sawyer? Priti Patel's husband who used to work for her

It has been revealed that Priti Patel’s husband was employed by her for a number of years and received tens of thousands of pounds in remuneration. Here is what we know about the former Home Secretary’s marriage and family life.

Priti Patel's husband Alex Sawyer used to work for her, here's why he stopped
© Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
Priti Patel's husband Alex Sawyer used to work for her, here's why he stopped

Priti Patel is one of the most high-profile female politicians in Britain. If Nicola Sturgeon and Liz Truss's private lives have been scrutinised by the national media and the details about Rishi Sunak's extraordinary wealth made headlines across the world, not much is known about Patel's family situation.

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The Conservative MP who served as Home Secretary and was succeeded by Suella Braverman last year is married to a marketing professional Alex Sawyer and lives with him and their teenage son Freddie in Witham, Essex. The couple met while working in PR and married in 2004.

It has been revealed that the high-flying politician had her already high-earning husband under her employment and paid him a wage for a number of years - something many found unethical.

Here is why Alex Sawyer had to quit working for his wife despite the part-time basis and a solid paycheck.

Who is Priti Patel's husband Alex Sawyer?

Alex Sawyer is an Advisor at Wannabetonit, according to his LinkedIn profile. He used to work as a marketing consultant for American Nasdaq NLX, which is ranked second on the list of stock exchanges by market capitalisation of shares traded, behind only the New York Stock Exchange.

He also used to be a Tory councillor and Cabinet Member for Communities in the London Borough of Bexley.

What is most notable is that Alex Sawyer once helped Priti Patel manage her office when she was International Development Secretary. She used her staffing allowance to pay her spouse up to £25,000 a year to work part-time from February 2014 until June 2017.

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Why did Alex Sawyer have to quit his lucrative job alongside his wife?

It was revealed that Sawyer had been working in all three roles during the same time period.

The register of MPs’ interests revealed that Alex stopped helping Priti after the General Election in June 2017.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority had banned politicians from taking on ‘connected’ parties as staff.

However, Sawyer would have been able to continue working for Priti as those employed before the 2017 General Election were exempt from the rules.

According to The Times, his role at Nasdaq was not declared on the register of interests for MPs’ staff because he said that he did not believe the company had ‘benefited or been advantaged by my parliamentary pass’.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, warned that the public would think Sawyer’s role as his wife’s parliamentary office manager would be seen ‘as a device to access public funds and boost the family income’.

Basically, Alex Sawyer ran Priti Patel's office until she was slammed for paying him tens of thousands of pounds to do so.

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Sources used:

- The Sun: 'Who is Priti Patel’s husband Alex Sawyer and do they have any children?'

- The Times: 'Priti Patel’s husband comes off the payroll'

Priti Patel: Who is the politician's spouse and does she have children? Priti Patel: Who is the politician's spouse and does she have children?