Priti Patel asked if she got better Israel reception ‘as she’s a lady’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Priti Patel asked if she got better Israel reception ‘as she’s a lady’

Sir Desmond Swayne heckled as he asks Secretary of State if her stay was "much more cordial" than his

Priti Patel with Stuart Polak at the Jewish News-BICOM policy conference.  Photo credit: Marc Morris Photography
Priti Patel with Stuart Polak at the Jewish News-BICOM policy conference. Photo credit: Marc Morris Photography

A former minister was heckled after questioning if Priti Patel received a “much more cordial” reception in Israel than he did “just because she’s a lady”.

Sir Desmond Swayne’s remarks were met with groans and shouts of “what?” by some MPs in the Commons.

They came as the Commons considered the International Secretary’s failure to inform the Foreign Office about her decision to conduct a series of meetings, including one with Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while said to be on holiday.

Sir Desmond, a former international development minister, said: “When I met the Israeli deputy prime minister, he stormed out of the meeting.

“The Secretary of State got a much more cordial reception. Is it just because she’s a lady?”

International development minister Alistair Burt replied as Ms Patel was travelling to Africa for pre-arranged Government business.

He said: “I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for me to answer either how (Sir Desmond) was treated himself or the reception for the Secretary of State for International Development.

“I’m quite sure both meetings were perfectly proper and appropriate.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: