Priti Patel’s position as DFID minister is now untenable
The BBC report on DFID Minister Priti Patel's undisclosed meetings in Israel without informing the Foreign Office http://www.bbc.co.uk/
- She met the leader of one of Israel's main political parties.
- She made visits to several organisations where official departmental business was reportedly discussed.
- Shewas accompanied by a powerful pro-Israeli Conservative lobbyist, Lord Polak, honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), an influential lobbying organisation.
- She was unaccompanied by her office staff.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Witham Jo Hayes said:
"As the Cabinet Minister in charge of Britain's international development budget, and with the task of assisting with the humanitarian needs in one of the world's most controversial conflicts, Priti Patel should have avoided a situation in which her interests and those of the United Kingdom could be perceived to conflict, or to cast any doubt on her own objectivity. It is to protect against that, that Ministers are accompanied by civil servants who take a note of meetings.
But that is exactly what has happened here. Speculation is now reportedly rife among her own colleagues as to whether she was making freelance foreign policy, or promoting herself for a leadership bid. She has compounded what she has done by refusing to answer questions from the BBC about the meetings.
Her position as DFID Secretary of State is now surely untenable."