INTERNATIONAL Development secretary Priti Patel has resigned from government after the row over her rogue state visit to the Middle East intensified, with the shocking revelation that she’d visited the occupied lands with the Israel government.

Patel had been about to start a three-day trade visit with Liam Fox in Nairobi, but was ordered back to London yesterday morning in what was a chaotic day even by the the standards of Theresa May’s government.

She is the second minister in a week to resign, after Michael Fallon stood down in the parliamentary sex pest row last Thursday.

The letters between May and Patel left no doubt that after the embarrassment the young minister had caused the Tory leader she would have been pushed had she not jumped.

“Now that further details have come to light, it is right that you have decided to resign and adhere to the high standards of transparency and openness that you have advocated,” May said.

News first emerged last week that during a family holiday to Israel in August, Patel, in the company of wealthy Tory donor Lord Polak, had visited with some organisations to discuss government business.

Polak, who is the honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel, and the chairman of the advisory board of TWC Associates, whose clients include Israeli defence company, Elbit Systems, and Mobileye, an Israeli technology company, set up the meetings for Patel and sat in on most of them.

When Patel spoke to a newspaper last week she told them Johnson and the Foreign Office had known all about her trip in advance.

“Boris knew about the visit,” Patel said. “The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip].”

But then on Monday, it transpired that the Foreign Office hadn’t known about the trip.

Patel released a statement admitting as much, though didn’t quite confess to having lied previously.

“In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be misread, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.”

The minister also revealed that she had been on 12 separate engagements with politicians and officials, including a meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

May’s spokesman told journalists that the first the Prime Minister knew about Patel’s meeting with Netanyahu was last Friday, some three months after it happened.

After Monday’s clarification, a No 10 spokesman tried to draw a veil over the whole affair: “The Prime Minister welcomes the secretary of state’s clarification about her trip to Israel and has accepted her apology for her handling of the matter.”

And then, on Tuesday, it turned out that Patel had asked her officials to look at giving British aid to the Israeli Defence Force for their work in the disputed Golan Heights. The first the Prime Minister heard of that was when the BBC’s Today programme reported it.

As Patel flew out to Africa on Tuesday, another newspaper reported two other meetings with senior Israelis that the minister hadn’t declared. There were also reports that she had visited the Golan Heights.

This is a diplomatic no-no for British politicians. The area is regarded as illegally occupied Syrian territory having been seized and occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, a move condemned by the UN Security Council.

Patel visited a field hospital, which has treated thousands of Syrians, mostly wounded rebel combatants, including al-Qaeda militants, as part of Israel’s “good neighbourhood” policy to create a bulwark against Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

Then, sensationally, the Jewish Chronicle claimed No 10 knew all about Patel’s meetings – though Downing Street denied that.

May now has to appoint a successor for Patel, which will bring its own challenges. The Essex MP was a prominent Brexiteer.