The card, sent out to the former Home Secretary’s political contacts, features a caricature of Ms Patel sitting atop a Christmas Tree with a magic wand.
Laying below her are baubles including a points-based immigration system, “national security”, and “Rwanda” – a reference to her controversial policy of flying asylum seekers to sub-saharan Africa.
The ex Home Secretary is joined on the front page of her bespoke greetings card by Boris Johnson, who is depicted as a child gleefully opening the political presents she has conjured up.
“We have seen Priti Patel’s lack of basic human decency time and time again – why should we expect anything less at Christmastime?” said Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson, of the card.
“This is the Christmas card of someone who read the nativity story and thought King Herod had the right idea.
“If Priti Patel had been around, Mary, Joseph and Jesus would have been on their way to Rwanda before the three wise men could arrive.”
Deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda was one of Ms Patel’s flagship policies as Home Secretary, though no removal flights have yet left for the country thanks to legal challenges.
The High Court on Monday ruled that the policy was lawful, though it said Ms Patel’s department had not properly considered the asylum cases of those it was imposed on.
But the approach has been roundly condemned by civil society, including Church of England bishops, who said it was “immoral” and should “shame” Britain.
Ms Patel was removed as Home Secretary when Liz Truss became prime minister in September, and has remained on the back benches.
During the October 2022 Tory leadership election she endorsed the return of Boris Johnson as prime minister – though he ultimately decided not to stand.
Mr Johnson had temporarily saved Ms Patel’s front line political career in 2020 after a Cabinet Office bullying inquiry found that she had breached the ministerial code while working in three different government departments.
The then prime minister rejected the findings and said he had “full confidence” in Ms Patel, leading to the resignation of his official ethics advisor.