Theresa May was facing meltdown tonight after losing her second Cabinet minister in just a week.

It will inevitably heighten the sense of chaos engulfing the government, as Mrs May desperately tries to get a grip on a bewildering array of crises.

Her deputy Damian Green is being investigated over sex harassment allegations, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson faces demands to resign over loose comments that might doubled the jail term for a British mother in Iran.

To make matters worse, the Prime Minister herself is also facing questions - amid claims she spoke to Miss Patel about her meeting with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as long ago as September.

Downing Street insisted last week that the first Mrs May had heard about the encounter, during a 'family holiday' in August, was last Friday. Dear Prime Minister, It has been a tremendous privilege to serve in your Cabinet since you became Prime Minister in July 2016.

In recent days there have been a number of reports about my actions and I am sorry that these have served as a distraction from the work of the Department for International Development and of the Government as a whole.

As you know from our discussions I accept that in meeting with organisations and politicians during a private holiday in Israel my actions fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State.Our actions to reform the global aid system, invest in new projects that deliver better outcomes and support economic development will make a lasting positive difference to the poorest in the world.I have seen the very best of Britain and know it will flourish on the world stage as we leave the European Union.We should all be very proud that across the world the Union Flag on our aid parcels and on the projects we support is seen as a symbol of hope.Our country is a force for good in the world and as Secretary of State for International Development it has always been my focus to act in the best interest of our great country.Dear Priti, Thank you for your letter following our meeting this evening confirming your resignation as Secretary of State for International Development.