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UK minister should be investigated over undisclosed Israel meetings, says Labour

Labour demanded that Theresa May order an investigation into..

Labour demanded that Theresa May order an investigation into whether the International Development Secretary Priti Patel broke the minister code of ethics by holding undisclosed meetings with politicians in Israel.

According to a BBC report, Patel met with one of Israel’s main political parties and visited numerous organizations where she discussed her work without telling officials in the Foreign Office. Patel was accompanied by Lord Stuart Polak, a peer and honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel, a lobby group. Ministers are meant to inform the Foreign Office when conducting official business overseas.

“Priti Patel’s actions show complete disregard for the ethics of public service, it also shows that the rules on lobbying are not tough enough,” said Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister. May should ask the Cabinet Office “to see whether the Ministerial Code has been broken,” he added.

“It appears Priti Patel has not learned the lesson from the infamous Liam Fox and Adam Werrity case,” Trickett said, referring to the current international trade secretary who was forced to resign from his position as defense secretary in 2011 after revelations that Fox’s friend and business partner Adam Werrity stood to gain from government business that was conducted without proper oversight.

“The Tories are unwilling to clean up lobbying because the current system benefits a tiny rich elite that can buy access,” Trickett said. “This cannot continue.”

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