Priti Patel’s exit won’t affect Indian influence in Britain
It was shocking news for the Indian community in Britain. The most influential British-Indian politician was ousted from the Government
Without backing from any senior leaders, Patel’s fate was sealed when the first report exposed her unscheduled meeting with Israeli leaders. The first justification from her was that it was a private holiday and some private meetings.
Later the picture was clear. A private summer holiday accompanied by an Israeli lobbyist and 12 meetings with Israeli ministers and top officials. Then came the shocking news. A private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Poor May. She came to know about the meeting, when the Israeli Prime Minister arrived at No. 10 with an entourage for an official reception. That forced Patel to file an apology.
In the Commons, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said that Downing Street regarded the matter “as closed” after Patel was reprimanded by the Prime Minister and reminded of her obligations under the ministerial code. But the report of her another unscheduled meeting with another Israeli minister triggered a major crisis. That put May in trouble.
Patel conducted two meetings in September without the presence of any Government officials. One of the meetings was with Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in Westminster on September 7. Israelis got what they wanted, but Britain has no clue about what they discussed.
It is thought Lord Polak, honorary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel, was present at both the meetings. That sealed Patel’s fate.