Priti Patel resigns over unofficial Israel meetings

ANI | Updated: Nov 09, 2017 02:42 IST

London [UK ] November 9 (ANI): U.K. International Development Secretary Priti Patel has resigned over unofficial meetings with the Israeli ministers and businessmen.

It ends days of speculation about the cabinet minister's position after she broke protocol to meet politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without informing Downing Street, reported the Independent.

Patel was ordered back from an official trip in Africa by Prime Minister Theresa May and was summoned to Downing Street over the row.

She disclosed that she had held 12 meetings in Israel with officials, businessmen, Netanyahu and the country's security minister.

In 11 of these, she was accompanied by Lord Polak, President of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), which has close links with wealthy Tory donors, the report said.

In her resignation, Patel apologised and said her actions "fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated".

May dubbed Patel's decision to resign as "right".

The Prime Minister, in her reply, said: "Now that further details have come to light, it is right that you have decided to resign and adhere to the high standards of transparency and openness that you have advocated."

In August, Patel flew to Israel with her family for a 13-day visit, which she later described as a "holiday", paid for by herself.

She held two further meetings after her "holiday" in September, according to the reports.

Patel is the second cabinet minister to leave the government in a week after Sir Michael Fallon quit as defence secretary. (ANI)

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