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

PRITIPATEL

Priti Patel speaking at the Jewish News-BICOM policy conference

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".

DOWNING Street demanded Priti Patel come clean about any more secret meetings with foreign politicians, as her Cabinet career hung by a thread.

The worldwide development secretary was forced to apologise on Monday after she held 12 undisclosed meetings while on holiday in August.

The Prime Minister only learned of the meetings on Friday - a day after she held a meeting with Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, in Downing Street to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

She falsely suggested that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had authorised her meetings.

Ms Patel also faced fresh questions over how much she has told the PM this week about the meetings. "There is no United Kingdom financial support for the Israeli army", a Downing Street spokesperson said after it emerged that in the wake of her visit in August, Patel had discussed potentially providing some of Britain's aid money to Israel's armed forces which run field hospitals in the Golan Heights area. [Patel] would like to take this opportunity to clarify that this was not the case.

"The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to look at how the code can be made clearer and tightened", a Downing Street spokesperson said.

"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.

Patil said she had met with prominent Israeli figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem, and opposition leader Yair Lapid.

"I am sorry for this and I apologise for it", Ms. Patel said in a statement.

"Patel has a history of showing favouritism to Israel and is suspected to cut or divert the essential aid that the United Kingdom sends to the Palestine Authority", Slaughter told MEE.

On Monday, Ms Patel issued a statement to say her Tel Aviv meetings were to discuss "prospects for closer collaboration between Israel and the United Kingdom on development and humanitarian issues".

"No I think exactly what has happened is she's had these meetings, I assume these were not meetings that were originally scheduled, and that having had these meetings she's then informed Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office of what took place in those meetings".

"The prime minister met the secretary of state this morning to remind her of the obligations which exist under the ministerial code".

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