Israel trip scandal grows: May orders Priti Patel back from her Africa tour

Patel breached protocol, had two more secret meetings

Just hours after she apologised for failing to give either Prime Minister Theresa May or Boris Johnson a heads-up about her meeting with Israel’s prime minister, Cabinet minister Priti Patel has today been ordered to cancel an Africa tour and return back to the UK.

This latest development has increased the speculation that the minister could face the sack for her breach of government protocol. No10 sources have confirmed that the minister has been told to return to the UK from Nairobi, cancelling her plans to fly to Uganda with Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

While conducting official work overseas, ministers are supposed to tell the Foreign Office.But Patel has admitted that she gave no advance notice of her trip. She also admitted yesterday how following the trip in August, she had wanted to give British aid money to the Israeli army in the Golan Heights.

Despite all this, it has now emerged that the international development secretary had two more meetings with Israeli political figures which she had not disclosed

Patel reportedly met Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan in Parliament on 7 September and foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York on 18 September. However, May was told about the New York meeting on Monday and about the meeting with Erdan on Tuesday only.

Labour shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett, who has already written to May demanding an investigation, asked to explain how Patel can remain in her job following the new revelations.

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