Britain's aid minister apologises over undisclosed Israel meetings

Priti Patel Britain's International Development Secretary

Priti Patel Britain's International Development Secretary

Kate Ozmour, spokeswoman for the global development of the opposition Labor Party, said Pattel should resign or undergo an investigation for violating the ministerial protocol. The Secretary of State would like to take the opportunity to correct this impression: "she is clear that other meetings also took place on her visit, in addition to those which had been publicly reported at the time of her making these statements", Patel confessed.

Tory ministers said that Patel should be "toast" after the International Development Secretary issued an apology for failing to disclose that she held 12 meetings in 12 days in August without informing the Foreign Office.

May accepted Ms. Patel's apology and met with her to remind her of the obligations under the ministerial code.

The statement added that the Foreign Office was aware of the visit while it was underway, but was not informed about it in advance.

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

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".

When asked whether the PM had been made aware of anything else that was discussed that could constitute a change of policy, Number 10 replied: "What I am clear on is she set out the people she met and from looking at the list of people it is quite clear the different areas they cover".

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

The department has not yet responded to questions from Sky News, but Downing Street previously said Ms Patel was on a private holiday "paid for by herself". I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.

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.

Andy Slaughter, a member of parliament for the main opposition Labour Party and a vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, told Middle East Eye on Friday that Patel's actions had been "outrageous" and compromised Britain's standing as an "honest broker" in distributing aid around the world.

Priti Patel discussed giving United Kingdom aid money to humanitarian projects in a disputed region of Israel, Number 10 has admitted.

Ms Patel has apologised after admitting she held talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, without alerting the Foreign Office.

The Secretary of State said she had seen for herself the work of Jewish charities in Israel, and said she was "struck by the achievements of the state of Israel".

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