Veteran Tory accuses Conservative Friends of Israel of ’embedded espionage’

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Veteran Tory accuses Conservative Friends of Israel of ’embedded espionage’

In latest scathing attack, Sir Alan Duncan hits out at the group which he claimed, last week, stopped him from getting a ministerial role

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Sir Alan Duncan
Sir Alan Duncan

Sir Alan Duncan has launched another scathing attack on the Conservative Friends of Israel group accusing it of engaging in “embedded espionage.”

The veteran Tory – who has accused CFI of preventing him from becoming Middle East Minister in his new political diaries – has given an interview to The Times in which he discusses what he claims is the “scandal” behind the organisation’s activities.

He said: “This is embedded espionage. All these senior politicians in the next generation are so ignorant of the history of the Middle East and all they want is donor money.

“They have no understanding of what is happening on the ground in the West Bank.

“Where is the party’s sense of justice, either for poor people or for Palestinians.”

Sir Alan, who stood down as an MP at the last election, also claims in the interview that the Foreign Office’s integrity has been “eroded” in recent times  – including by the recent cut in foreign aid.

He cites the character of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as the quality of his cabinet.

Last week, in published extracts from his diary, Sir Alan claimed he was prevented from becoming Minister for the Middle East after an intervention by CFI.

He wrote  that his new role was agreed until the then Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson alerted him to the fact that CFI “are going ballistic.”

Sir Alan stood down ahead of the 2019 General Election when he was Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, having made numerous controversial statements on Israel – particularly in relation to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

In 2011, while serving as International Development Minister, he described Israel’s security barrier as a “land grab,” also accusing Israelis of stealing water from Palestinian communities.

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