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20 under 40: Priti Patel

Age: 39
Conservative, Witham

You can't fault Priti Patel for dedication - she went straight from university into the Conservative Research Department. Last year she won her newly created seat in Essex comfortably.

Although she was on David Cameron's infamous "A list" of candidates, her views are decidedly toxic Tory; she favours restoring the death penalty and has criticised the PM's more gentle approach.

Next: Dominic Raab

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This article first appeared in the 19 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Meet the next Prime Minister