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The Secretary of State for Defence resigns, saying his conduct ‘fell short’

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Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has resigned, saying his behaviour may have “fallen short” of the standards expected by the UK military.

In his resignation letter, Sir Michael 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 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.”

He is the first politician to quit following recently revealed claims of serious sexual abuse in Parliament; although he has not been charged with anything.

 

The PM said she appreciated the “serious manner” in which Sir Michael had considered his role.

Theresa May also praised the “particular example you wish to set servicemen and women and others”.

The resignation comes a day after a spokesman for Sir Michael confirmed that he was once rebuked by a journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, for putting his hand on her knee during dinner in 2002.

The spokesman had said Sir Michael apologised when it happened.

Who will replace him? Well according to a list of names being circulated by Tory MPs the one at the top so far is Penny Mordaunt, a former defence minister until she was moved to the department for work and pensions in July last year,

The MP for Portsmouth North since 2010 served in the department between 2015 and 2016 as minister for the armed forces before she was given a promotion.

She has a keen interest in defence issues and served on the defence and arms exports committees between 2010 and 2013. Ms Mordaunt is also seen as a competent media performer and a reliable minister.

If she does get appointed she will be the first woman ever in the role.

As for Michael? In his letter to the PM – he stated that he: “will continue to support the government and to work hard for my Sevenoaks constituents.”

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