Priti Patel reportedly offered Prime Minister Theresa May a "fulsome apology" as she resigned as International Development Secretary on Wednesday (8 November). Patel was forced to resign from May's Cabinet after holding secret foreign meetings.

May ordered Patel to return from an official work trip to Africa after details of her undisclosed meetings with Israeli politicians emerged. According to Sky News, Patel made it to Nairobi, Kenya before being ordered back to the UK for a meeting with the Prime Minister.

In her letter of resignation, Patel called it a "tremendous privilege" to serve in May's Cabinet.

"I accept that meeting with organisations and politicians during a private holiday in Israel, my actions fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State," Patel said.

Patel offered a "fulsome apology to you and the Government for what has happened and offer my resignation". She added that she would continue to support May and the Government and "stand up for the Conservative values of freedom, opportunity and aspiration".

In response, May reportedly told Patel "it is right that you have decided to resign and adhere to the high standards of transparency and openness that you have advocated".

May added: "As you know, the UK and Israel are close allies, and it is right that we should work closely together. But that must be done formally, and through official channels."

Patel has faced scrutiny after it was revealed that she failed to inform both the Foreign Office or Downing street about 12 meetings she had with key Israeli officials in August.

Some of those meetings included plans, which were not disclosed to May, to look into giving money to the Israeli military to treat Syrian refugees living in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights area. That idea was described as "inappropriate" and rejected.

Additional meetings in September also occurred without the Government being told.

Patel's resignation marks the second member to exit May's Cabinet over the last week. Sir Michael Fallon was forced to resign as defence minister after acknowledging his behaviour around woman may have "fallen short".

Priti Patel
Britain's International Development Secretary Priti Patel arrives for the weekly meeting of the cabinet at 10 Downing Street Glyn Kirk/AFP