International development secretary Priti Patel announced her resignation where she admitted to holding a series of unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials on November 8th.
Labour has now asked Theresa May to explain how and when the government officials knew of the meetings, as well as what was Patel’s aim.
Patel visited Israel for meetings with political figures in August. After that, she asked Foreign Office officials whether the UK could aid the Israeli army, especially for their humanitarian operation.
Unfortunately, the proposal ended up being declined by the officials because giving aid to the military is against the UK’s aid rules.
According to last week’s BBC’s reports, however, she held some further meetings with Israel ministries without notifying the UK government during September.
She admitted that she had lacked “transparency and openness” during these series of activities in her letter to the PM on Wednesday.
However, online news website the Jewish Chronicle claimed there was a possibility that the government had been aware of one of her meetings with Israeli foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York City on November 9th.
The Government denied this. Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson also reported the fact that he had been informed that Patel had met officials from the British Consulate General Jerusalem, while she had been in Israel, but the details of this meeting had not been made public.
Middle East Minister Alistair Burt explained his opinion stating that Foreign Office officials in Israel might have been notified of Patel’s visit on 24 August, and some meetings had been conducted before that day to MP.
On Wednesday, in a response to Patel’s offer of resignation, May said that it was right that the UK should work closely with Israel as allies, but those negotiations should have been done formally.
With last week’s news of Sir Michael Fallon’s retirement because of an accusation of sexual harassment, this story shows us the fact that a cabinet reshuffle has happened twice in only seven days. This situation might be a source of instability of discussions in Westminster.
However, not only the fear but also various concerns, social problems, morals circulate with this news.
For example, while someone findsPatel’s responsibility for strengthening a bound with one of the UK’s allies in a sense peaceful, someone else focuses on who is right for the job as a new International development secretary.
By analyzing this matter from various viewpoints, you can make your own idea and opinion to understand the current political climate even stronger.