Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said there had been a "clear breach" of the ministerial code, while shadow worldwide development secretary Kate Osamor called for an investigation, describing Patel's apology as "a desperate last-ditch attempt.to save her job".
Britain's worldwide development secretary apologized Monday for holding meetings with top Israeli officials, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without informing the Foreign Office beforehand.
A spokesperson for May's office said on Monday: "The prime minister welcomes the secretary of state's clarification about her trip to Israel and has accepted her apology for her handling of the matter".
Ms Patel is now facing calls to resign following the revelations, which also revealed that she was accompanied by Lord Polak, the honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobbying group, but no British officials were present at the sessions.
The Secretary of State said she had seen for herself the work of Jewish charities in Israel, and said she was "struck by the achievements of the state of Israel". [Patel] would like to take this opportunity to clarify that this was not the case.
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The minister, who has been under fire for not disclosing the trip earlier this summer, said the visit was a "family holiday, paid for myself" and the meetings - with a range of politicians, businesses, tech startups and NGOs - were arranged while away. The Foreign Office, it said, was "clear that United Kingdom interests were not damaged or affected by the meetings on this visit".
Ms Patel, MP for Witham in Essex, said she was proud of the role which Britain had played in "helping to make a homeland for the Jewish people" and said that the Balfour centenary should be celebrated with pride.
Patel contradicted her previous remarks about informing the Foreign Office. "I regret it and apologize for it".
Patel said she met with senior Israeli figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Ministry' Director General Yuval Rotem and opposition leader Yair Lapid.
Patel met with Netanyahu to discuss "the Israeli domestic political scene", she said, and to plan his United Kingdom visit, which took place last week. The Telegraph also reported that Patel had suggested to Netanyahu that the United Kingdom should give aid to the Israeli army.
Asked if Patel's secret meetings were in breach of the ministerial code, Duncan Smith then did his best to find an imaginative excuse for his colleague.