UK minister, who cancelled trip to Uganda, resigns

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Priti Patel has resigned as UK international development secretary amid controversy over her unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.

She was ordered back from an official trip in Africa by the Prime Minister Theresa May and summoned to Downing Street over the row.

In her resignation letter, Patel said her actions "fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated".

The PM said her decision was "right" as "further details have come to light".

Ms Patel had apologised to Theresa May on Monday after unauthorised meetings in August with Israeli politicians - including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu - came to light.

But it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.

Patel was due in Uganda on Wednesday where she was scheduled to address a joint press conference together with Liam Fox, who is the Secretary of State for International Trade in the government of Prime Minister Theresa May.

The press conference was to take place at 4pm at State House, Entebbe.

At 3:34pm, however, Don Wanyama, the Senior Presidential Press Secretary sent a group message on WhatsApp informing journalists that the press conference had been called off.

"Team, we regret to announce the cancellation of the presser that had been slated for later today at State House, Entebbe," Wanyama said without giving reasons for the cancellation.

Now British newspaper, The Guardian reported yesterday that Patel's trip to Africa had been cut short and she had been summoned back home.

The Guardian reported that the minister admitted to holding secret meetings with Israeli politicians, "amid reports that she also breached protocol by visiting the Golan Heights."

British government officials are barred from visiting Golan Heights, a territory that Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israel war.

Like the rest of the international community, the British government does not recognise Israel's control of the Golan Heights, captured during the six-day war.

Agencies

 

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