LONDON - British Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, in charge of the environment department, is facing further controversy after it emerged that he met an Israeli businessman with an interest in the future of a multibillion-pound project that the minister was overseeing.

The Guardian says the embattled minister has suspicious ties to the billionaire, Idan Ofer, a London-based shipping and mining heir whose father, Sammy, was once Israel’s richest man.

Robert Jenrick is under pressure to resign after newly released text messages and emails indicate that he was “insistent” a planning application be allowed just in time to save its Tory donor backer up to £50 million.

Jenrick’s decision allowed former Daily Express owner Richard Desmond to avoid paying the sum, overruling both Tower Hamlets Council and a planning inspector. The minister later reversed the decision following legal action by Tower Hamlets Council.