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United Kingdom ministerial code tightened after Patel's Israel meetings

United Kingdom ministerial code tightened after Patel's Israel meetings

The International Development Secretary is under mounting pressure to explain her actions after it was revealed she held a series of meetings with Israeli government ministers without informing Downing Street.

A government spokesman said Ms.

Patel said the meetings were arranged by Lord Stuart Polak, of the Conservative Friends of Israel, who accompanied her in most of the meetings.

Patel said she met with senior Israeli figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Ministry' Director General Yuval Rotem and opposition leader Yair Lapid.

She was also reprimanded by Downing Street for suggesting the Foreign Office was aware of the meetings before they took place even though it was not.

However, when reports of the meetings had first surfaced, Patel told the Guardian "Boris knew about the visit".

Asked if Patel's secret meetings were in breach of the ministerial code, Duncan Smith then did his best to find an imaginative excuse for his colleague.

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"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.

Kate Osamor, the shadow global development secretary, told the Commons on Tuesday that it was "hard to think of a more black and white case of breaking the ministerial code of conduct".

Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said there had been a "clear breach" of the ministerial code, while shadow worldwide development secretary Kate Osamor called for an investigation, describing Patel's apology as "a desperate last-ditch attempt.to save her job".

"I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be mis-read, and how meetings were set up and reported", Patel said in a statement. I am publishing a list of who I met.‎ The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was aware of my visit while it was underway‎. "I am sorry for this and I apologise for it", Patel said in her apology statement.

"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. May yesterday summoned Patel to No 10 to "remind her of the obligations which exist under the ministerial code". Patel's "startling admissions" raise doubts about whether she can continue in her role - with Labour also demanding that she resign, the Daily Mail says.

Downing Street said the premier had accepted her apology and considered the matter closed.

Patel met with Netanyahu to discuss "the Israeli domestic political scene", she said, and to plan his United Kingdom visit, which took place last week.

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