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The Jewish Chronicle Is Standing By Its Story About Priti Patel

The newspaper claims Downing Street knew about development secretary Priti Patel's meetings with Israeli officials earlier than previously admitted. Number 10 says that's not true.

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The Jewish Chronicle is standing by its claims that Downing Street knew about Priti Patel's meetings with Israeli officials earlier than previously admitted.

When asked by BuzzFeed News whether the newspaper was standing by the story, its editor confirmed he was fully behind it.

"Very much so," said Stephen Pollard, a veteran political journalist. "Rechecked with one source and I'm very happy to stick to it."

The future of Patel, the international development secretary, is in doubt following an incredibly confusing series of events after she failed to declare meetings with Israeli politicians that took place while she was on a "family holiday" to the country in August.

As a result Patel has cut short a trip to Uganda and is currently flying home to the UK, amid suggestions that she will be fired soon after landing in London.

To make matters worse, stories on Tuesday night suggested Patel had failed to declare additional meetings with Israeli officials held in September.

But the official UK government account of events was thrown into doubt on Wednesday morning when the Jewish Chronicle published a story alleging that Downing Street had been involved in a cover-up and ordered her to keep certain names off the list.

"Far from being unaware, Number 10 knew in full about her meeting with Mr Netanyahu, because Ms Patel had discussed it with the Prime Minister in September, prior to the UN General Assembly," claimed Pollard.

"My revelations today mean that there are some serious questions for Number 10 to answer about who knew what, when – including the PM."

Downing Street strongly denied the Jewish Chronicle story.

"It's not true that the prime minister knew about Priti's meeting with Netanyahu before Friday," a spokesperson said. "It's also untrue that Number 10 asked DfiD [the Department for International Development] to remove any meetings from the list that was published."


Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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