Michael Fallon (Image source: iNews)
Michael Fallon resigned as Britain’s Defense Minister on Wednesday following allegations on inappropriate sexual behavior. His resignation comes in the aftermath of a widespread scandal over sexual abuse and harassment around the corridors of power.
Mr. Fallon, who has held the position of UK’s Secretary of State for Defence since 15 July, 2014 admitted in an official statement that he ‘may have fallen below high standards,’ according to a BBC report.
Although the news outlet highlighted that Mr. Fallon’s resignation was not related to new or specific claims, Business Insider claims the minster’s action became necessary after he was named in the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.
The accused person admitted earlier this week that he was involved in some inappropriate behaviors towards journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer in an event which occurred more than a decade ago.
A newspaper reported that he repeatedly caressed the lady’s knee at a public function in 2002.
The victim said she withdrew from her attacker at that time, during a Conservative party conference, but there are speculations that more allegations may soon emerge. She reportedly told him “calmly and politely” to desist from such acts or risk getting a punch in the face.
“Julia is a good friend of Michael’s. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee. She made it clear it was unwelcome and he rightly apologized 15 years ago,” a close friend to the defense minster told The Guardian.
Mr. Fallon wrote in his resignation letter to Prime Minster Theresa May:
“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 that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent.”
May appreciated his wise decision to step down from the coveted position, saying it’s an example that should be emulated by servicemen, women and everyone.
Fallon has been married to Wendy Elisabeth Payne, a HR professional, since 1986. The couple have two sons.
According to Times of India, PM Theresa May has also asked investigators to look into some sexual misconduct allegations against another Cabinet minster Damian Green, who is being accused by Conservative party activist Kate Maltby. The victim claims he touched her knee and sent her lots of sex-themed text messages in 2015.
The lady told Times of London that Mr. Green pretended to be offering her career advice but couldn’t hide his “sexual interest” in her.
However, the accused person denied all allegations, calling them “shocking” and “deeply hurtful.”
Another accused person, Jared O’Mara, who works under Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was recently suspended on allegations of misogynistic comments.
Mr. Corbyn said he’s ready to hold meetings with the Speaker and Prime Minister to strengthen disciplinary procedures.
The UK Cabinet Office is also investigating Mark Garnier for an alleged misconduct. The junior minister who works in the Department for International Trade was accused of referring to his secretary with an “inappropriate sexual phrase.” He also sent her to buy him sex toys in 2010, before he became a minister.
Conservative party staff have compiled a list of at least 36 current Tory MPs against whom allegations of inappropriate behavior have been made, media reports confirm. Some of the accused persons are believed to have had sexual relationships with junior colleagues.
In the face of these messy scandals, May will likely reshuffle her cabinet sooner than later.