Britain’s most influential British–Indian politician was forced to quit after her unscheduled meetings to Israeli ministers come to the fore.
Priti Patel has resigned as UK international development secretary amid controversy over her meetings with Israeli officials. She was ordered back from an official trip in Africa by the PM and summoned to Downing Street over the row.
In her resignation, Ms Patel apologised and said her actions “fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated”.
Ms Patel had apologised to Mrs May on Monday after unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians in August came to light, but it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.
Ms Patel had a 30 minute meeting with Mrs May, arriving at 10 Downing Street via the back door after returning to the UK, BBC reported.
Her resignation from the cabinet is the second in seven days, after Sir Michael Fallon quit as defence secretary on Wednesday last week amid allegations about his behaviour.
“While my actions were meant with the best of intentions, my actions also fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated,” Priti wrote in the letter. “I offer a fulsome apology to you and to the government for what has happened and offer my resignation.”
In her reply, Mrs May said: “Now that further details have come to light, it is right that you have decided to resign and adhere to the high standards of transparency and openness that you have advocated.”
She added that Ms Patel should “take pride” in what had been achieved during her time as secretary of state.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the BBC: “Priti Patel has been a very good colleague and friend for a long time and a first class secretary of state for international development.
“It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.”