Michael Fallon Resigns As Defence Secretary

Michael Fallon has quit as Defence Secretary in the aftermath of being embroiled in the Westminster sex scandal, a Downing Street spokesman said.

In his resignation letter, the long-serving MP said has past behaviour had “fallen short” of what is expected in the military. 

Fallon is the first minister to step down from Theresa May’s government amid the sexual harassment scandal that has rocked Westminster.

Earlier this week, he apologised over an incident 15 years ago in which he made unwanted advances to the journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer, placing his hand on her knee.

HuffPost UK understands Fallon quit because he couldn’t guarantee there would not be another story about contact with a female journalist.

In his resignation statement, Fallon said he believed his behaviour had “fallen short” of what is expected in the military.

“In recent days allegations have been made about MPs’ conduct, including my own. Many of these have been false, but I realise 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. “I have therefore reflected on my position in Government and I am resigning as Defence Secretary. “It has been a privilege to have served as Defence Secretary for the last three and half years, and I have nothing but admiration for the professionalism, bravery and service of those men and women who keep us safe.”
HuffPost UK understands Fallon’s replacement will be announced on Thursday as the Prime Minister is now forced too reshuffle her Cabinet.

This is his resignation letter:

Hartley-Brewer spoke to Sky News soon after his resignation was announced, and said it would be the “most insane and absurd resignation” if it was a result of what she dubbed ‘kneegate’. She said:

“I absolutely didn’t expect it – I don’t think I can repeat on Sky News the words I actually used at home when I got the first call about this. “I’m incredibly shocked – if this is over knee-gate and him touching my knee fifteen years ago, me not having any issue with it today, then this is the most insane and absurd resignation of a Cabinet Minister in the history of the world.”