Britain's International development secretary Priti Patel leaves 10 Downing Street in London. Patel cut short a trip to Africa, flying back to London after Prime Minister Theresa May ordered her to return. Picture: Frank Augstein/AP

London - Britain's international development secretary Priti Patel resigned on Wednesday, pointing to further turbulence in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet.

Patel came under pressure after it emerged that she had held undisclosed meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-level officials while on holiday in Israel in August.

In her resignation letter, the minister apologized, saying that her actions "fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated."

Once tipped as a possible future leader of May's Conservatives, Patel was one of a number of ministers in the prime minister's cabinet who had faced calls to resign in recent days.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has landed in hot water over comments he made about a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran, which Tehran took as possible evidence of further offences.

Last week, Michael Fallon resigned as defence minister following allegations of sexual misconduct.