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Why Priti Patel will be sacked

Priti Patel's meeting with Gilad Erdan looks to have sealed her fate. Credit: @giladerdan1/Twitter

Priti Patel would probably argue that the formal relationship between ministers and officials, governed by a panoply of rules and conventions, stifles creativity and getting the job done.

But they are there primarily to ensure order and probity in the business of government. So it is astonishing and - most would say - appalling that she has systematically ignored them, especially in her relations with the Israeli government.

As I said last night, she is set to be sacked by Theresa May as Secretary of State for International Development.

The reason is she had already received a final warning by the PM to disclose all her informal contacts with Israeli ministers.

She didn’t - or at least not to Downing Street (though it is murky what her own department found out, by chance rather than process).

The meeting which looks to have done for her was with Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan on September 7.

What is most shocking about this meeting is that it had been declined on her behalf by her department officials. But unbeknownst to them, it was then fixed up through her office in the House of Commons.

None of her officials attended it. The meeting was not minuted or recorded. The only other Briton present was the businessman and honorary presidential of Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak.

If this had been isolated freelancing with a foreign government by Patel she might keep her job.

It wasn’t and she won’t.