Priti Patel has resigned as Secretary of State for International Development.
The Conservative government is now in turmoil after Patel became the second high profile Cabinet member to lose their job within a week.
May’s decision to allow Patel to resign rather than showing strong leadership and sacking her is already drawing strong criticism on social media.
Patel was forced to resign from the Cabinet after it emerged that she had engaged in secret meetings with high ranking Israeli officials without informing her own party – in clear violation of long established Ministerial rules.
Ms Patel then compounded the situation by releasing a statement declaring that Boris Johnson had been aware of the meetings – a statement which was very quickly exposed as being entirely untrue.
It was also later revealed that Ms Patel had suggested diverting part of the UK’s foreign aid budget to the Israeli army – an offer which Theresa May should have been made aware of, but was not.
Patel is now also reported to have admitted holding two more unauthorised meetings with Senior Israeli officials since her return from Israel in August.
In her resignation letter, the now former International Development Secretary Patel said:
I accept my actions fell below the high standards expected of a secretary of state. While my actions were meant with the best of intentions, my actions fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated.
For the second time in a week, here’s the exchange of letters between a departing cabinet minister and Theresa May. pic.twitter.com/xQaXjDXjIB
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) November 8, 2017
In a letter responding to Ms Patel’s resignation, Theresa May said ‘it is right that you have decided to resign’.
Prime Minister May initially seemed extremely reluctant to act on Ms Patel’s secret meetings, but further revelations have seemingly forced the hand of the PM – ultimately ending in Patel’s resignation.
Furthermore, Ms Patel was ridiculed in Parliament yesterday after failing to turn up to an emergency question forced by Labour to debate her aberration.
Labour demanded an investigation into Ms Patel’s behaviour, claiming her secret meetings had breached the ministerial code four times.
Following Michael Fallon’s dismissal as Defence Secretary last week, Patel becomes the second high profile member of May’s Cabinet to be removed from their position in recent days.
Patel’s resignation places the stability of May’s increasingly precarious minority government in serious doubt.
Furthermore, with numerous allegations of sexual misconduct within the Tory Party swirling around, it is surely only a matter of time before a vote of no confidence is forced against the government.
With deeply damaging revelations about senior members of her party literally piling up, it is safe to assume that May may well be gone before May.
But almost certainly much sooner.
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