Priti Patel: Israel and Britain can extend and improve their partnership

Danny Woods
November 8, 2017

The statement said that Patel and Netanyahu had held an "introductory meeting" in which they had discussed Patel's family background as the daughter of Ugandan Indian migrants growing up in an area of the United Kingdom with a "thriving Jewish community".

Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, held undisclosed meetings in Israel last August without telling the Foreign Office. United Kingdom ministers are required to notify the Foreign Office when conducting official business overseas, but Patel admitted that she failed to do so.

On Tuesday No.10 confirmed Patel had suggested the United Kingdom send aid money to the Israeli army in the Golan Heights.

Kate Osamor, the shadow global development secretary, told the Commons on Tuesday that it was "hard to think of a more black and white case of breaking the ministerial code of conduct".

The recent behaviour of Priti Patel has left lobby journlaists wondering exactly what cabinet ministers need to do to get sacked these days.

Labour's spokeswoman for global development Kate Osamor said that Patel should resign or face an investigation by the Cabinet Office for breach of the ministerial code.

Kate Osamor, her Labour shadow, branded Ms Patel's absence "simply unacceptable", a criticism echoed by the SNP's spokesman, Stephen Gethins.

On Monday, Patel had apologised for failing to disclose meetings with senior Israeli officials during a private holiday.

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However MPs were told Patel was already in the air flying to Africa for a ministerial visit.

That sparked fury in the Foreign Office, as Britain has long opposed Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights where its Syrian refugee camps are, and her move was blocked.

The statement added that the Foreign Office was aware of the visit while it was underway, but was not informed about it in advance.

Theresa May only learned of the meeting last week - almost three months after it took place.

Priti Patel, minister for global development, had issued a formal apology yesterday for holding undisclosed meetings during a holiday visit to Israel.

"She recognises she should have told people beforehand", Burt said. "It is not about who else I met", she said, "I have friends out there".

Ms. Patel has said she regrets the lack of precision in the wording she used in these statements, and is taking the opportunity to clarify the position.

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.

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