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Boris Johnson leaps to Priti Patel's defence in her conflict with MI5

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
MI5 bosses based at Thames House reportedly do not trust Home Secretary Priti Patel

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has denied a damaging rift with MI5 bosses who are reportedly concerned about her foreign connections and aggressive leadership style.

According to the Press Association, Patel is demanding the Cabinet Office conduct a leak enquiry following what she claims are “false allegations”.

The rift between Patel and the chiefs of the Security Service, MI5, were reported by the Sunday Times yesterday.  

Meanwhile, the government has leapt to Patel’s defence by describing as “false” reports of a breakdown in relations between the Home Secretary and the powerful MI5 bosses.

The prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters Boris Johnson has “full confidence” in the home secretary.

Lack of trust

The Sunday Times report claimed Patel is not receiving the same security and intelligence briefings as her predecessors because MI5 bosses do not trust her.

Although the Sunday Times did not disclose the source of the mistrust, speculation abounds that MI5 bosses are wary of Patel’s extensive links to officials and leaders in countries which are known to actively spy on Britain.

Patel was forced to resign as international development secretary in November 2017 after her unauthorized meetings with Israeli politicians and leaders (including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) in August and September 2017 came to light.

Israeli espionage 

Whilst the UK and Israel maintain close ties, the latter is known to aggressively spy on a wide range of British targets.

In January 2017, Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, was caught on camera in an undercover sting conspiring to “take down” MPs which he regarded as “hostile” to Israel, including then foreign office minister, Sir Alan Duncan, who is widely regarded as a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

The sting against Masot (who is most likely a Mossad officer) was recorded by an undercover reporter from the investigative unit of the Qatari broadcaster, Al-Jazeera.

In a widely-acclaimed documentary, Al-Jazeera brought to light a wide range of illegal Israeli lobbying and political pressure campaigns on British soil.

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