22k people track Priti Patel’s pre-resignation flight back to the UK from Kenya

Priti Patel and Gilad Erdan
Priti Patel with Israeli politician Gilad Erdan. Photo: Twitter/giladerdan1

Flightrader24 reported that more than 22,000 users were tracking Priti Patel’s Kenya Airways 4,240 mile flight from Nairobi to London after she was summoned back to the UK following disclosures about her recent holiday in Israel during which she met a number of Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ms Patel had only just arrived in Nairobi last night when she was told by her office that the Prime Minister wanted her to turn straight around.

She is understood to have caught a 9.30am plane this morning and after arriving at Heathrow Airport just before 3.30pm, was driven to Westminster for a meeting at No 10.

Following the meeting, she announced her resignation as International Development Secretary.

Twitter users had a field day with a number of Tweets making fun of the situation.

Ms Patel had already been forced to apologise on Monday for 12 undisclosed meetings in Israel, including with Mr Netanyahu, during an August holiday visit.

However, late last night it emerged that Ms Patel met Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan in Parliament on September 7, and foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York on September 18.

While it is understood that Downing Street was told about the New York breakfast with Mr Rotem when Ms Patel revealed the details of her trip to Israel, No 10 was only made aware yesterday about the meeting with Mr Erdan which raised doubts over whether she had been fully open with Mrs May.

No British officials were present at the meetings and she is not believed to have reported them to the Foreign Office or Government in the usual way.

Also, following her return from her summer holiday meetings, Ms Patel had discussed the possibility of UK aid being used to support medical assistance for Syrian refugees in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights which Whitehall officials turned down as “inappropriate”.

Ms Patel apologised for not informing the Foreign Office of the meetings and for suggesting Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, knew about her plans in advance of the visit.

“In hindsight, I can see…how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.” – Priti Patel

While the government welcomed Ms Patel’s “clarification”, Prime Minister Theresa May is believed to have “reminded her” of her obligations.

This latest crisis came soon after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was facing calls to resign amid claims he may have risked Iran giving a British-Iranian woman an extra five-year jail sentence by wrongly suggesting she was teaching journalism there rather than being on holiday.


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