Priti Patel kept Theresa May in dark over Israeli army cash plan


Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said Ms Patel should face a probe led by the standards adviser, after she was reprimanded personally by the PM.

"Patel didn't think it was worth telling Theresa May that she had met with a foreign leader on Friday morning - more than two months after she had returned to the United Kingdom", stated PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield.

Patel's meetings in Israel between August 13 and 25 were arranged by the honorary president of the lobbying group Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak, who also attended all but one.

"The Prime Minister welcomes the Secretary of State's clarification about her trip to Israel and has accepted her apology for her handling of the matter", the spokesman said.

She later apologised, while also admitting she had been wrong to tell The Guardian last week that the Foreign Office were aware of her planned meetings before she travelled to Israel. The Foreign Office, it said, was "clear that United Kingdom interests were not damaged or affected by the meetings on this visit".

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"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. "The foreign secretary did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it". While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations. "This quote may be read as implying that the Secretary of State was saying that the meetings that had so far been publicly reported were the only ones which took place on her visit".

But they referred questions about who paid for expenses surrounding the meetings with Israeli officials to DfID. The situation is made worse by the fact that rather than informing Downing Street of her trip, both Patel and Johnson kept it entirely secret until it was unearthed by the media last week.

The list showed that Patel also held meetings with Yuval Rotem, a senior official at the Israeli foreign ministry; Gilad Erdan, the minister for public security, information and strategic affairs; and Yair Lapid, a former finance minister in Netanyahu's coalition government and the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party.

Alistair Burt, a junior minister in the department admitted to MPs today that actually meant providing cash to the Israeli Defence Force for work it does helping Syrian refugees in the Golan Heights. In any ordinary circumstances a member of government embarking on a secret diplomatic mission and holding unauthorised talks with a foreign power would be an instant firing offence.