For immediate release: Sunday 8th January 2017

Attention: Newsdesks

UK GOVERNMENT MUST DEPORT ISRAELI EMBASSY OFFICIAL 

The Scottish National Party’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Alex Salmond MP has said the UK Government should immediately remove from the country the Israeli Embassy official Shai Masot after he was filmed discussing how to “take down” a senior Government minister.

Shai Masot was caught on camera talking to Tory MP Robert Halfon’s former chief of staff Maria Strizzolo at a restaurant in Kensington in October.  Mr Masot can be seen saying deputy foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan is causing “a lot of problems” and describes foreign secretary Boris Johnson as “an idiot”.

Following an apology from the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev the UK Government said it considered the matter closed which Alex Salmond has described as “completely unacceptable”.

Alex Salmond said:

“It is completely unacceptable for the UK Government to declare the matter closed - Shai Masot must go and go immediately before the end of his tenure at the Israeli Embassy.
“Boris Johnson must right now revoke Mr Masot's diplomatic status and remove him from the country as would most certainly have happened had the circumstances been reversed. Perhaps then the Israeli Government representatives will regard the Foreign Secretary as less of a fool.  
“I would expect the UK Government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by Embassy officials who do not agree with their views.”

ENDS