Theresa May has been accused by Labour of running a “chaotic Cabinet and decaying Government” as opponents urged her to state exactly what she and her colleagues knew of sacked minister Priti Patel’s unofficial meetings in Israel.

Within minutes of Ms Patel losing her job as International Development Secretary last night over her solo initiatives that included a meeting with the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Labour’s Tom Watson asked the Prime Minister for details about a further alleged meeting her ex-minister had in Jerusalem.

READ MORE: Theresa May's authority damaged again as Priti Patel finally resigns

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The deputy leader said the meeting was with officials from the British Consulate in the city, making, if confirmed, it “impossible to sustain the claim that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were not aware of Ms Patel’s presence in Israel”.


Shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor said: “It is right that she has now resigned. But we still need to know what was discussed in these meetings and what No10 and the Foreign Office knew and when.

“Theresa May must get control of her chaotic cabinet and decaying government or step aside for Labour to govern for the many not the few.”

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Mr Watson asked Mrs May about meetings that took place during Ms Patel’s supposed private holiday in Israel from August 13 to 25 and about the alleged meeting with British consulate officials.

He added: “If this were the case, then it would surely be impossible to sustain the claim that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was not aware of Ms Patel’s presence in Israel.

“The existence of such a meeting or meetings would call into question the official account of Ms Patel’s behaviour, and the purpose of her visit.”


Middle East Minister Alistair Burt told MPs on yesterday that Foreign Office officials in Israel were made aware of Ms Patel’s visit on August 24 and it was likely that her meetings had taken place beforehand.

Ms Patel only made Mrs May aware of the meetings on Friday, more than two months after they took place, when reports began to emerge of talks she held with a politician and a disability charity.

She falsely claimed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson knew of her actions in advance, then admitted he didn’t, and gave the impression only a handful of meetings were involved, before revealing there were 12, including one with Mr Netanyahu.


She also strayed into extremely sensitive foreign policy areas, visiting the occupied Golan Heights, which the UK has refused to recognise for 50 years, and suggesting UK aid could be sent to the Israeli army there.

On Tuesday, after apparently escaping with a slap on the wrist from Downing Street, she flew to Africa on a three-day visit, only to be recalled when yet more meetings emerged.

READ MORE: Theresa May's authority damaged again as Priti Patel finally resigns

Her return became a social media phenomenon, with 22,000 people at one point following her 4,240-mile journey on Kenya Airways via an online flight tracker.

It was a long and dramatic end to a career that had seen the mother of one promoted to International Development Secretary, in Mrs May's first cabinet in July 2016. She had been a leading Leave figure in the run up to the previous month's Brexit referendum.


The final straw was her failure to declare she had met an Israeli minister in the Commons and a foreign ministry official in New York in September.

Work and Pensions Minister Penny Mordaunt is the favourite to succeed Ms Patel, when Mrs May names her replacement today.


Others include Foreign Ofice Minister Sir Alan Duncan, Rory Stewart, the Penrith and the Border MP, Education Minister Anne Milton or the veteran Alistair Burt, a joint DfID-Foreign Office minister.