Priti Patel quits cabinet over Israel meetings row

Priti Patel, Britain’s first Indian-origin Cabinet Minister resigned as International Development Secretary on Wednesday evening, as the political crisis engulfing the British government intensified. Hers was the second Cabinet resignation within a week Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned over sexual harassment allegations on 08 November 2017.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is also facing calls for his resignation over incorrect comments made to a parliamentary select committee over a British-Iranian citizen imprisoned in Iran. After initially suggesting that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Mr. Johnson had been in the loop from the outset, she admitted they were made aware of the meetings while the trip was under way. While Downing Street initially stood by her, subsequent revelations have made her position increasingly tenuous.

The Guardian reported that sources within her department confirmed further meetings with Israeli officials in September that were also not carried out according to ministerial procedures, including a meeting with Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister for Public Security on the House of Commons’ terrace in early September. She also met a foreign ministry official in New York later that month.

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