Priti Patel quits over Israel meetings row

09 November, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Priti Patel Britain's Secretary of State for International Development arrives in Downing Street in London

She was also rebuked by No 10 after giving the false impression in an interview with the Guardian that foreign secretary Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office knew about the meetings.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Labour's shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said she should either call in her independent adviser on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allen, or "state publicly and explain your full reasons for why Priti Patel retains your confidence despite clear breaches of the ministerial code". Running for election mere months ago, British Prime Minister Theresa May's slogan was "strong and stable government".

"In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be misread, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures", she said.

The UK's global development secretary, Priti Patel, has resigned after it was revealed she held secret meetings with Israeli officials during what she said was a family holiday to Israel.

On Monday, Ms Patel apologised to Ms May on Monday for failing to report that she had met with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a holiday.

Before the extra meetings were revealed, Downing Street insisted the Prime Minister continued to have confidence in Patel, who is now in Africa with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, after giving her a dressing down on Monday over her trip to Israel.

The International Development Secretary, who is facing mounting criticism, was "in the air" on her way to Africa, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt told the Commons, adding that she "did not suddenly contrive" the visit in order to avoid facing MPs.


They also discussed the Israeli domestic political scene, India, Netanyahu's then-forthcoming visit to London to mark the centenary last week of the Balfour declaration, and "prospects for closer collaboration between Israel and the United Kingdom on development and humanitarian issues".

Patel is the second cabinet minister to quit May's government a week after Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary over allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior on November 1. They are taken across the border by army medics serving in the Israel Defense Forces and treated - at Israeli taxpayer expense - in Israeli hospitals.

She was accompanied at all the meetings bar one in Israel by honorary president of the Conservative Friends for Israel lobbying group Lord Polak.

The meetings were arranged by Lord Polak.

Other political parties are also under scrutiny.

Patel met May on Monday and apologized for the unauthorized talks in August.

According to reports, these meetings were held "without following protocol and notifying fellow ministers or officials".

That encounter was not exactly secret, either.

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