Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon resigns admitting his behaviour had 'fallen short'

Sir Michael Fallon has resigned

The post Britain's May replaces defence minister in growing harassment scandal appeared first on Vanguard News.

The Tory veteran has been caught up in the sexual harassment scandal sweeping Westminster after it emerged he had repeatedly put his hand on talkRADIO presenterJulia Hartley-Brewer's knee during a party conference dinner in 2002.

In his resignation letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, Fallon said his past behaviour had "fallen short" of what was expected of him.

Allegations of sexual abuse have ranged from a charge of rape by an activist in the opposition Labour Party by a senior party member, to unconfirmed details of serial "sex pests" on a list reportedly drafted by aides and researchers in parliament.

In a letter written to Theresa May, Fallon said "A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct".

He told the BBC that what had been "acceptable 15, 10 years ago is clearly not acceptable now".

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Media captionSir Michael Fallon: "Not right for me to go on as defence secretary".

Laura Kuenssberg said there was already a "fragile balance" in Cabinet that the prime minister would be wary of when naming Sir Michael's successor.

"I'm incredibly shocked. If this is about knee-gate, him touching my knee 15 years ago and me not having any issue with it at all, this is the most absurd resignation of a Cabinet minister ever", she told Sky News.

She added: "I am not interested in scalps, I am interested in cultural change, in parliament and in our political parties, to make it safer and a better environment for women".

Some observers questioned the wisdom of moving the chief whip at a time when the government is fragile and every vote it faces in the House of Commons is on a knife-edge.

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