UK Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in growing harassment scandal

Updated: 11:59 GMT, Nov 2, 2017 | Published: 08:22 GMT, Nov 2, 2017 |

British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon quit on Wednesday (November 1) saying his conduct had fallen below the high standards demanded of his position, the first resignation in a sexual harassment scandal in parliament.

A growing number of women and men working in Britain’s parliament have complained of inappropriate behaviour by lawmakers, largely prompted by sex abuse allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Fallon apologised earlier this week for touching a radio presenter’s knee in 2002 – something the woman in question described on social media as “mildly amusing”.

In his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, he said there had been many allegations about lawmakers in recent days, including “some about my previous conduct”.

“I have behaved in the past, clearly, in a way that is occasionally been below the standards that we require of the armed forces and I don’t think it’s right for me to go on as defence secretary expecting the very highest standards of our servicemen and women and fail to meet them myself,” Fallon told BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

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