UK Defense Minister Resigns After Sexual Assault Allegations

Posted: Nov 01, 2017 4:30 PM

UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who has served under four prime ministers, has resigned after new reports of sexual harassment. He told Prime Minister Theresa May of his intent Wednesday.

In his resignation letter to May, Fallon said: “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct.

“Many of these have been false but I accept in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent.

“I have reflected on my position and I am now resigning as defence secretary.” (The Guardian)

Fallon was accused of having inappropriately touched a journalist back in 2002. The journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, said that she was "not remotely upset or distressed about it" and Fallon's spokesman said Fallon has apologized and they consider the matter "closed."

However, The Guardian has sources who say he displayed inappropriate behavior much more recently. Friends of Fallon, the editors write, suggest there may have been "similar such incidents more recently," and that Fallon would "absolutely concede that some of the flirtation has been inappropriate.”

Westminster, BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg notes, has seen "a series of lurid allegations emerge in recent days," with more alleged victims coming forward to explain how members of Parliament violated them.