Priti Patel’s departure clocks up £eight,000 invoice for taxpayers | Politics


Priti Patel’s sacking might but show politically costly for Theresa May. But it’s already clear that in financial phrases alone it is going to go down as one of many pricey cupboard departures ever – at simply in need of £eight,000 on the Guardian’s rigorously constructed estimate.

The abortive spherical journey to Nairobi would have value the taxpayer 1000’s of kilos in wasted air fares which might have been averted if Patel had been ready to withstand her critics.

Patel was scheduled to go on an pre-arranged go to to Africa on Tuesday. The flight was as a result of depart at 5.25pm that day with many urgent questions unanswered about her undeclared conferences with Israeli officers.


13 August

Priti Patel goes to Israel on what she claims was a household vacation, which she paid for herself.

22 August

Patel met the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The badembly was not authorised prematurely and no UK officers had been current. She later claimed the Foreign Office was made conscious of this conferences and others whereas her journey was beneath manner.

Meanwhile, Patel’s deputy Alistair Burt and David Quarrey, the British ambbadador to Israel, had been badembly Michael Oren, a deputy minister on the Israeli prime minister’s workplace, in line with the Jewish Chronicle. According to notes of the badembly, cited by the paper, Oren referred to Patel having had a profitable badembly with Netanyahu earlier.

24 August

Foreign Office officers grew to become conscious of Patel’s first conferences, in line with a press release given to the Commons by Burt on 7 November. He didn’t point out his personal go to to Israel. Hansard quotes Burt telling the Commons: “The Secretary of State [Patel] told Foreign Office officials on 24 August that she was on the visit. It seems likely that the meetings took place beforehand.”

On the identical day Patel met Yair Lapid, the chief of Israel’s Yesh Atid occasion, who describes her as a “true friend of Israel”. 


On an undisclosed date throughout her journey, Patel visited an Israeli army discipline hospital within the occupied Golan Heights, in line with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. If confirmed, this is able to be a breach of a protocol that British officers don’t journey within the occupied Golan beneath the auspices of the Israeli authorities.

25 August

Patel leaves Israel after 12 work conferences, throughout two days of a 13-day vacation. As effectively as badembly Netanyahu, she additionally held talks with the general public safety and strategic affairs minister, Gilad Erdan, and an Israeli international ministry official, Yuval Rotem. The conferences had been organised by Lord Polak, a number one member of the Conservative Friends of Israel. He accompanied Patel on all however one one of many conferences.

On her return to the UK, Patel inquires about utilizing the UK badist finances to badist fund the Israeli military’s humanitarian work within the Golan Heights. The thought is rejected as a result of the UK doesn’t recognise Israel’s everlasting presence within the Golan Heights, which had been seized from Syria within the 1967 warfare.

7 September

Patel meets Gilad Erdan, the minister for public safety, and is photographed with him on the House of Commons terrace.

18 September

While in New York for the UN basic meeting, Patel has one other badembly with Yuval Rotem, an official from the Israeli international ministry.

6 November

Patel apologises after admitting she gave a deceptive account to the Guardian of her journey to Israel. In a press release, she admits holding 12 conferences, together with three with Israeli politicians – Netanyahu amongst them.

She mentioned: “This quote [to the Guardian] may have given the impression that the secretary of state had informed the foreign secretary about the visit in advance. The secretary of state would like to take this opportunity to clarify that this was not the case. The foreign secretary did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it.”

She doesn’t point out visiting the occupied Golan Heights or the 2 subsequent conferences in September.

A No 10 spokesman confirms that Patel was rebuked for breaching the ministerial code.

7 November

Patel avoids answering an pressing Commons query about her conferences in Israel due to a “longstanding commitment” to go to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The worldwide improvement minister Alistair Burt is put up in her place. Burt factors out that Patel apologised for the undisclosed conferences. He provides: “The department’s view is that aid to the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] in the Golan Heights is not appropriate.”

Downing Street initially backs Patel however later confirms that the prime minister was not knowledgeable about offering badist to Israel throughout her badembly the day prior to this. It is usually recommended Patel did not disclose her two subsequent conferences in September with Israeli officers. A Whitehall supply says: “There was an expectation of full disclosure at the meeting on Monday. It is now clear Priti did not do that. It will now have to be looked at again.” But in line with the Jewish Chronicle, it was No 10 who advised Patel to not embody her badembly with Rotem in New York in her record of undisclosed conferences for concern of embarrbading the Foreign Office.

DfiD confirms beforehand undisclosed September conferences with Erhad and Rotem in September.

eight November

Patel is summoned again to London on the request of the prime minister amid widespread hypothesis that she might be sacked or given the chance to resign. She flies again from the Kenyan capital Nairobi after her conferences in Uganda had been cancelled.

It was no shock that the speaker granted Kate Osamor, Patel’s reverse quantity, an pressing Commons query on Tuesday lunchtime. Patel had time to look within the Commons in particular person to face the wrath of MPs and nonetheless catch the 5.25pm flight.

But reasonably than keep, and even cancel her journey, she opted to get an earlier flight to Nairobi at 10.10am. Patel was due to this fact conveniently within the air whereas Alistair Burt, her deputy, was fielding tough questions on her conferences on that vacation to Israel.

Changing flight plans on Kenya Airways comes at a penalty of £240 on some enterprise clbad tickets, however provided that a day’s discover is given. If the Telegraph is appropriate in suggesting that Patel introduced ahead the flight on the final minute, new tickets would have needed to be bought.

Patel’s former division has but to present particulars of the price of the journey which she is known to have made together with her personal secretary. But two last-minute enterprise clbad returns to Nairobi on Kenya Airways would value as much as £5,878, in line with the airline’s web site.

Two last-minute business returns flights to Nairobi

Two last-minute enterprise returns flights to Nairobi Photograph: Kenya Airways

We have no idea the place Patel and her secretary stayed in Nairobi on Tuesday evening as her political future was being determined in London.

Accommodation is unlikely to have been low cost. You can’t get two rooms within the Nairobi’s Intercontinental for lower than £150 and if she stayed on the Crown Plaza lodging it could have been greater than £270.

On Wednesday morning Patel was as a result of fly to Entebbe in Uganda with Liam Fox, the commerce secretary, and the remainder of the entourage. But earlier than boarding she was summoned again to London by the prime minister on one other last-minute flight for 2.

Two enterprise returns from Nairobi to Entebbe would have added one other £1,823 to the price of the journey.

So even with out meals, Patel’s wasted eight,500 mile spherical journey for 2 would have value as much as £7,971. Osamor mentioned it was unacceptable for Patel to not reply questions within the Commons about her conferences with Israelis. It was additionally very costly.

She mentioned: “It was simply unacceptable that Priti Patel failed to show up to the urgent question in Parliament. She should not have been allowed to get on that plane. We deserve to know how much this fiasco has ended up costing the British taxpayer.”

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