A week after Priti Patel was forced to resign as International Development Secretary, Dundee managing director John Nelms is still unable to comprehend what she did wrong.
Patel resigned after it emerged she was running a rogue foreign policy without the knowledge of Downing Street and held 12 political meetings, including with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while visiting the country in August.
“This summer I travelled to Israel, on a family holiday paid for myself,” said Patel when the controversy first broke. “While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations. In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be mis-read, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures.”
Nelms said felt Patel’s explanation was perfectly reasonable and says the two of them are victims of a cynical press.
“Honestly, what has she done wrong?” he asked. “It’s like in the summer when I went to Spain on business and Jack Ross, who we wanted to be our manager and whose club St Mirren had just refused us permission to speak to, happened to be there. I was like ‘Jack! The fuck are you doing here man?’ even though everyone knew he was on holiday there with his family and the papers were full of stories that I was flying out to speak to him.
“Spain’s what? About the size of Arbroath or something? Total coincidence, We just had a chat about the weather and how you have to watch out that it’s not squid instead of onion rings you’re eating and how Only Fools is always on in the pubs and that was it. We never spoke about the job. A media witch-hunt, that’s what it was. Same with Priti.”
A spokeperson for the former International Development Secretary said, “We knew when we came up with that bullshit story we were struggling but John’s really taking the piss here.”