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[WATCH] UK minister Priti Patel resigns over secret Israeli meetings

The UK minister resigned after holding a series of unauthorised meetings in Israel, during what was thought to be a family holiday 

9 November 2017, 9:16am
 

The UK’s international development secretary, Priti Patel, has resigned after holding a series of secret meetings with Israeli officials during what she said was a family holiday in Israel.

Patel was told to return to the UK on Wednesday after it was uncovered that she had 12 undisclosed meetings with a lobbyist in Israel last August, including one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

After the 13-day visit, Patel admitted she wanted to give British aid money to the Israeli army, and asked her officials to look into supporting humanitarian operations conducted in the Golan Heights area.

The Foreign Office officials strongly advised against this, as the need for humanitarian aid was greater elsewhere and giving aid to the military broke aid rules, the BBC's James Landale said.

In a letter to the PM, she said she had lacked "transparency and openness".

Patel, who has served as the Tory MP for Witham in Essex since 2010, was forced to come clean about the number of meetings she attended and whether the Foreign Office was notified.

Labour has now called on May to say when government officials knew about the undisclosed meetings.

Downing Street have since insisted that May knew nothing about Patel’s meetings before the controversial news surfaced.

The Prime Minister has since said that Patel's decision to resign was a correct one.

 “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,” she said.

Patel’s replacement is expected to be announced later in the day.