Future in doubt, British aid minister deals further blow to May

From Reuters - November 8, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - British aid minister Priti Patels political future was in doubt on Wednesday over undisclosed meetings she held with Israeli officials, posing a new test of Prime Minister Theresa Mays authority as she negotiates Brexit.

Weaker than ever after losing her partys majority in a June election, May faces another crisis after her defense minister resigned in a sexual harassment scandal, leaving the government with the stench of death to it, according to one opposition lawmaker.

Patel, a Brexit campaigner whose views chime with many in the governing Conservative Party, was heading back to London after cancelling meetings on a planned trip to Africa, an official at her Department for International Development said.

Asked whether she should be dismissed, Conservative lawmaker Crispin Blunt, former chair of the influential foreign affairs select committee, told Reuters it was a matter for the PM.

Patel apologized to May on Monday for failing to report that she had met senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a holiday - breaking rules by straying into matters reserved for the foreign ministry.

On Wednesday, the Sun newspaper reported that she had also failed to disclose that she had met the director general of Israels Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem, in New York and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in London.


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