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Priti Patel's Cabinet future hangs in balance over Israel trip controversy

Priti Patels Cabinet future hangs in balance over Israel trip controversy

London: Priti Patel, Britain's senior-most Indian-origin minister could be sacked from the Cabinet after it emerged that she misled Prime Minister Theresa May over further unauthorised secret meetings with Israeli politicians, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Patel, the international development minister, has cut short an official trip to Uganda and Ethiopia to rush back to London "at the request of the Prime Minister".
The 45-year-old minister's sudden return comes after her department admitted that Patel held two further meetings in September which she failed to disclose when rebuked by May on Monday.
Downing Street, which has declined to comment further on the matter, had earlier said that Prime Minister May had accepted Patel's apology over a series of meetings while she was on a holiday in Israel in August, without reporting them to the Foreign Office.
But new revelations about her further meetings with Israeli officials following that visit have made her position within the Cabinet very precarious, British media reported. It is understood that Patel met Israel's public security minister, Gilad Erdan, in the UK Parliament complex in early September and an Israeli foreign ministry official, Yuval Rotem, in New York later that month. May was reportedly told about the unreported New York meeting during Patel's apology conversation at Downing Street on Monday but only learned about the unreported meeting with Erdan after the talks.
Ministers are required to tell the UK Foreign Office when they are conducting official business overseas, but it had emerged that British diplomats in Israel were not informed about any of Patel's meetings which included a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other political figures as well as charity organisations.

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