Priti Patel: Her statement says she met three senior Israeli politicians including Benjamin Netanyahu, 10 representatives of Israeli organisations, and startups with a focus on Africa [Image: Yui Mok/PA].

Not good enough.

Priti Patel’s behaviour was a serious breach of the Ministerial Code that demands her removal as a minister: “Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

She knowingly misled Parliament. She should have offered Theresa May her resignation, and Theresa May should have accepted – otherwise she is derelict in her duty as prime minister.

It hasn’t happened (we knew it wouldn’t).

Theresa May has always been derelict in her duty as prime minister. Her government is lazy and corrupt – and she simply can’t afford to fire influential fellow Tories from ministerial positions.

If she won’t move of her own free will, we have to push her.

At a time when the minority Conservative government is facing multiple – and mounting – claims of sexual harassment and assault by ministers and backbenchers, when it is accused of facilitating tax avoidance and lying to the public about it, when former Justice Secretaries are accused of racial discrimination, and when Boris Johnson continues to be an international embarrassment, every extra bit of leverage will help push Mrs May and her cronies out of the door of 10 Downing Street.

Priti Patel has apologised and been rebuked by Theresa May after admitting she gave a misleading account of a personal trip to Israel that included a previously undisclosed meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu.

The international development secretary acknowledged she had met the Israeli prime minister during a family holiday in August and given the false impression in an interview with the Guardian that the UK Foreign Office knew about it in advance.

No 10 issued a statement on Monday saying May met Patel earlier in the day and discussed with her a possible breach of the ministerial code.

A No 10 spokesman said: “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 prime minister met the secretary of state this morning to remind her of the obligations which exist under the ministerial code.”

The rebuke, apology and expressions of regret are highly embarrassing and come as the Foreign Office is engaged in a turf war with the Department for International Development (DfID) over future projects.

Source: Priti Patel rebuked for misleading account of Israel meetings | Politics | The Guardian


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