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UK: Patel out of Office over Secret ’Israel’ Trip
Local Editor

Theresa May faces a "make-or-break" month after chaos in her Cabinet saw her lose a second top minister in a week.

Priti Patel

After Priti Patel was effectively sacked on Wednesday, senior Conservatives told The Independent the Prime Minister has until Christmas to improve the Government's performance.

Patel was pushed out after she embarrassed May by holding a series of unofficial meetings with top "Israeli" politicians, without telling Downing Street.

It comes as two other cabinet members, Damian Green and Boris Johnson, are also in the spotlight, as pressure mounts to make progress in Brexit talks, amid the growing harassment scandal and just days after May forced Sir Michael Fallon out of his job following allegations of inappropriate behavior.

One minister told The Independent the loss of her ministers did not in itself pose a terminal threat to May's Government, but argued that the direction of travel had to change.

The frontbencher said: "There is cumulative effect and there is a danger for the Prime Minister that she could be perceived as having lost control of events.

"This next month to six weeks is make-or-break time. Not just domestically, not just with the EU withdrawal Bill and the Budget, but with the European Council in December and whether we get ‘sufficient progress' in Brexit talks."

May forced Patel to quit after she held a series of meetings with top "Israeli" figures, including apartheid entity's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without informing Number 10, and then still did not disclose all the details despite being given the chance.

The ex-international development secretary arrived at Downing Street at about 6pm on Wednesday for an hour-long face-to-face with the Prime Minister, having been ordered back to the country from Africa.

It first emerged last Friday that Patel had travelled to the Zionist entity for a 13-day visit, which she described as a "holiday" paid for by herself.

When the trips emerged, Patel initially told a reporter that Boris Johnson's Foreign Office had been informed, but later admitted in a statement that it was not.

She publicly apologized and accepted that she had not acted in "accord with the usual procedures", and was forced at a meeting with May to set out all of the appointments she had in "Israel", 12 in total.

But over the next two days details of her trip and other meetings emerged that had not been shared, including that she discussed the idea of handing UK aid cash to the "Israeli" army to carry out humanitarian operations in the Golan Heights, that she had visited an "Israeli" field hospital there and had a further meeting with another "Israeli" minister, Gilad Erdan, in Westminster - which he tweeted about.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

09-11-2017 | 08:50

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