POLITICAL OBSERVERS may consider the Priti Patel affair to be another fine mess for the government but, in at least one element, it was a surprising one.
Stuart Polak, one of its main protagonists, is a shrewd political operator with decades of experience in his field.
Ennobled by David Cameron two years ago, Lord Polak is a veteran of Westminster’s corridors of power.
He has taken literally hundreds of Tory MPs to Israel over the years, educating them about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and securing their support in parliamentary votes and the public arena.
Under his guidance, CFI became the biggest lobbying group in Westminster, holding lunches for 700 guests, making countless Downing Street visits, and developing contacts throughout Israel and the Middle East.
In turn Lord Polak — the savvy networker who began his career as a United Synagogue youth officer in Edgware — gained the ear of prime ministers, a peerage and influence.
As long ago as 1990 he told the JC what motivated him — a desire to “put as much as possible back into the