Priti Patel [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

Theresa May says Priti Patel is no longer in trouble over her meetings with Israeli politicians, dignitaries and organisations while on “holiday” and the matter is now closed.

But there’s an elephant in the room – and Tom Clark shines a spotlight on it in his article.

This is hugely important information and This Writer is sure that Mrs May and everyone involved with her at Downing Street will be desperate to keep it from the general public.

It would be terrible for them if you were to share it as widely as possible.

Priti Patel decided to completely ignore the ministerial code of conduct by holding a number of political meetings in Israel without informing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, without informing the UK embassy in Israel, and without informing the Prime Minister.

She then dug herself deeper into her hole when she was caught by lying that the Foreign Office had known about her meetings at the time, and ‘forgetting’ to mention the most significant meeting of all that she had with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She has now released a list of the meetings she claims to have attended, and admitted that she lied (in one of the most bizarre UK government press releases of all time) but we all know that she’s only admitted this stuff because she got caught, and that it would all still be secret if she hadn’t been busted.

Patel was somehow unavailable to answer urgent questions about her misconduct in parliament today, so it fell to her deputy Alistair Burt to make her excuses, and to claim that Theresa May now “considers the matter closed”.

The problem of course is that Priti Patel’s decision to conduct secretive ‘freelance diplomacy’ isn’t just a breech of party discipline, it’s a lot more serious.

If any civil servant was caught having secretive meetings with foreign politicians without informing the FCO of the details and following official guidelines, they’d be sacked immediately, and could even go to jail for it. The reason being that the procedures exist for reasons of national security.

For Priti Patel to have arranged all these meetings in secret, it seems highly likely that she would have used her own communications devices to make the arrangements, rather than a FCO approved device. An obvious security risk.

The next thing to note is that all FCO approved meetings require security and sweeping for bugs. Presumably none of that happened, which is another security risk.

The next problem is that no proper records were kept of the meetings, or what was discussed in the meetings, which opens Patel up to suspicions that she could have subjected to blackmail or bribery, especially if she then starts behaving in the interest of the foreign state.

Which brings us to Patel’s conduct upon her return to the UK: She quickly started making inquiries into whether part of the UK Foreign Aid budget could be diverted in order to fund the Israeli military in the occupied Golan Heights (a policy that would have been in Israel’s interests, and that a significant percentage of British people would have been horrified by).

Additionally she told nobody that she was making these inquiries about using the foreign aid budget to fund the Israeli military as a result of her secretive meetings in Israel.

This request makes it seem that Patel was behaving like an asset of the Israeli state, working on their behalf as an operative within the UK government.

Source: Why Priti Patel deserves the sack even more than blundering Boris Johnson


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