British media, critics see crisis for May after Patel leaves cabinet

British Prime Minister, Theresa May
British Prime Minister, Theresa May

British media and critics of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, on Thursday said the resignation of a second cabinet minister within seven days had left her government in crisis.

“Theresa May must get control of her chaotic cabinet and decaying government or step aside for Labour,’’ Kate Osamor, a shadow minister for the opposition Labour party, said in a statement.

Ms. Osamor was reacting to the resignation of international development secretary Priti Patel over undeclared meetings with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while on holiday in Israel in August and later in London.

“Another day, another crisis,’’ the pro-Conservative Telegraph said in a front-page headline, while The Times led with “Fears grow government will collapse as Patel quits.’’

The Financial Times said Ms. Patel’s resignation “adds to instability around the government, which is struggling with sexual harassment allegations and cabinet splits on Brexit.’’

Ms. May’s cabinet has been hit by several allegations of sexual misconduct, which led to the resignation of former defence minister Michael Fallon and the reported investigation of her deputy and long-term friend, Damian Green, for possession of extreme pornography.

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She was forced to back Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday as opposition lawmakers joined by some Conservatives called for him to be sacked over his latest gaffe.

Mr. Johnson praised Ms. Patel following her resignation as “a very good friend and colleague’’ and said she still has “a great future.’’

Mr. Johnson and Ms. Patel are strong advocates of Brexit and leading figures on the Conservative right.

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