Priti Patel Told Undisclosed Meetings In Israel A 'Resigning Matter'

Theresa May Announces A General Election

Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said there had been a "clear breach" of the ministerial code, while shadow global development secretary Kate Osamor called for an investigation, describing Patel's apology as "a desperate last-ditch attempt.to save her job".

The International Development Secretary is under mounting pressure to explain her actions after it was revealed she held a series of meetings with Israeli government ministers without informing Downing Street.

Such meetings could constitute a violation of Britain's ministerial protocol.

Patel insisted that she had gone to Israel on a "family holiday" but her trip, which was organised by Lord Polak honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel, was described by critics as an attempt to win favour with wealthy pro-Israeli Conservative donors who could fund a potential future leadership campaign.

"Patel didn't think it was worth telling Theresa May that she had met with a foreign leader on Friday morning - more than two months after she had returned to the United Kingdom", stated PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield.

"This summer I travelled to Israel, on a family holiday paid for myself". While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations.

"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".

Patel met Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, head of Israel's foreign ministry Yuval Rotem, the minister for public security, information and strategic affairs Gilad Erdan and the leader of opposition party Yesh Atid Yair Lapid, among others. "I am sorry for this and I apologize for it".

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".

"I can understand how Hamasi can be misinterpreted to participate in that way and how the meetings were arranged and reported", Patil said in a statement.

Ms Patel has apologised after admitting she held talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, without alerting the Foreign Office. The Telegraph also reported that Patel had suggested to Netanyahu that the United Kingdom should give aid to the Israeli army.

He alleged Ms Patel broke four grounds of the code - openness, collective responsibility, honesty and performing only those duties allocated to them by the PM. "The Foreign Secretary did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it".

The minister said the Department for International Development (Dfid), Patel's own department, was made aware of the meetings by the Foreign Office on the same day.

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