Government minister Priti Patel MP (Witham, Con) has apologised after she failed to inform the Foreign Office of a meeting with Israeli politicians that took place whilst she enjoyed a holiday paid for by herself.

In a statement released on the Government website, Ms. Patel revealed she had taken a family holiday to Israel and had engaged with politicians and representatives of other organisations. The Essex MP, who has been a member of Government since 2010, has published a list of all the people she met whilst away, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Boris knew about visit

The current Secretary of State for International Development had previously been quoted by the Guardian newspaper last week saying that Boris Johnson, The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, knew about the visit. According to the Guardian, Ms. Patel claims Mr. Johnson knew of the meetings beforehand, but it is now understood the Foreign Office only became aware of the visit after Ms. Patel had arrived in Israel.

In her statement, Ms. Patel denied that this quote implied the Foreign Office knew about the visit beforehand and that she suggested only the meetings that had been publicly declared beforehand had taken place.

The International Development Secretary said she went on a personal holiday to a destination where she has lots of friends, but can now understand how the meetings and figures involved may have been misread and failed to follow the ministerial code or correct procedures.

According to a Government statement, the Foreign Office has made it clear that the visit has not influenced or damaged UK interests.

Further bad news for Theresa May

The controversy will be another unwelcome distraction for Theresa May as she deals with the fallout of the sexual harassment scandal following the allegations and the consequential resignation of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and her struggle to ensure Britain exits the European Union in March 2019 with a good deal.

Whether the other issues facing the Prime Minister serve to be an aid to Ms.

Patel and her position in the Cabinet is yet to be seen, with reports suggesting Downing Street has already reminded Ms. Patel of the 'ministerial code'.

Labour has already called for an inquiry, and according to the BBC, shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor has said Mrs. May must launch a full investigation unless Ms. Patel resigns.

Representatives of Ms. Patel and the Prime Minister have been contacted for comment.