LONDON — Penny Mordaunt has been appointed by Theresa May as the new International Development Secretary.
Mordaunt’s new role was confirmed on Thursday afternoon in a meeting between the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North and Prime Minister Theresa May, according to multiple reports.
She was first elected in 2010 and has served as minister for disabled people since July 2016.
Brexiteer Mordaunt replaces Pritil Patel who resigned on Wednesday evening after it emerged that she had taken part in unauthorised meetings with members of the Israeli government.
The Conservative MP was first elected in 2010 and has served as minister for disabled people since July 2016.
She replaces Patel, who stepped down from Cabinet after it emerged that she held two undisclosed meetings with senior figures in the Israeli government following a visit to Israel in August in which she held 12 unauthorised meetings, including with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Downing Street was not told about these meetings until Friday last week, a spokesperson told Business Insider on Monday.
Patel flew back to London from Africa yesterday and met with Prime Minister May before officially announcing her resignation from Cabinet.
More details about Patel’s trips to the Middle East have come to light in recent days.
It emerged on Tuesday that Patel had sought to authorise the payment of foreign aid to the Israeli Army, following the meetings. The foreign office said the request had been declined as it was “not appropriate.”
Israeli newspaper Haraaetz reported that Patel visited a hospital in the Golan Heights while in the Middle East. Diplomatic protocol prohibits British ministers from visiting the Golan Heights, a south-western region of Syria which Israel seized during the six-day war of 1967.
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