Second government resignation in just one week for May

Politics Editor - Amy Billington

Priti Patel, credit: Sky News.

Theresa May has lost her second cabinet member in just a week after International Development Secretary, Priti Patel has resigned following revelations on her covert and unofficial meetings with Israeli government officials. 

The minister resigned after being called back to the U.K while away visiting Uganda and Ethiopia. Patel has described her actions as falling “below the high standards that are expected of a secretary of state”. It was alleged Patel met with Israeli government ministers, as well as businessmen, and failed to disclose this to Downing Street.

However, she does claim that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was aware of her trip – “Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip]. It is not on, it is not on at all. I went out there, I paid for it. And there is nothing else to this. It is quite extraordinary”

Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip]. It is not on, it is not on at all. I went out there, I paid for it. And there is nothing else to this. It is quite extraordinary

Patel has admitted to having 12 meetings while in Israel, which she previously described as a “holiday”, including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since her resignation, she has been replaced by fellow-Brexiteer Penny Mourdant as International Development Secretary.

This is the second resignation from the cabinet, coming in just under a week after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned after allegations he had behaved inappropriately towards several women.

 

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