UK defense secretary Michael Fallon resigns after allegation of inappropriate conduct
On Wednesday evening, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned after an allegation of inappropriate conduct.
In a statement, Fallon said: “In recent days allegations have been made about MPs’ conduct, including my own. Many of these have been false, but I realize that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces, which I have the privilege to represent”.
Earlier this week, the 65-year-old politician apologized to journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer after she alleged that a senior Cabinet minister had repeatedly placed his hand on her knee during a party conference dinner in 2002. She had not named Fallon directly.
According to Hartley-Brewer, the politician withdrew his hand after she told him that if he continued, she would “punch him in the face.” She has repeatedly said she is not a sexual harassment victim, writing on her Twitter account last week: “He tried it on, I turned him down. Now move on.”
Last night, Hartley-Brewer reacted to Fallon’s resignation on Twitter and said: “I doubt my knee was the reason.”
He is now the first British politician to resign amid the growing Westminster sexual harassment scandal. Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May ordered an investigation into her deputy, Damian Green, amid allegations of unwanted advances toward a female writer. Green has denied the harassment claims.
Last week, May ordered an investigation into international trade minister Mark Garnier, who reportedly admitted to a newspaper that he asked his personal assistant to buy sex toys and used a sexual slur against her.