UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigns amid Westminster 'sex pest' scandal

Hannah Mckay  Reuters                       Michael Fallon

U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned from government Wednesday, after admitting to inappropriate behavior in the past. It is due to resume talks on Britain's European Union departure in Brussels, Belgium, next week.

He became swept up in the Westminster sexual harassment scandal when it emerged he had felt the knee of presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer at a dinner in 2002.

Ms Hartley-Brewer said: "I have had no issues since with the man in question and do not regard the incident as anything but mildly amusing".

"In recent days allegations have been made about MPs' conduct, including my own", he said.

Sir Michael said his past behaviour had "fallen short" of standards expected by the United Kingdom military in his departure letter to Theresa May on Wednesday.

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However, it is unclear if any further allegations may have prompted his resignation.

Accepting the resignation, May said she appreciated the "serious manner in which you have considered your position and the particular example you with to set to servicemen and women and others".

And there were signs of consternation in Conservative ranks, with some backbenchers suggesting that the 41-year-old South Staffordshire MP lacks experience and may have earned his meteoric rise by his staunch loyalty to the Prime Minister. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee.

The former chief whip's appointment by Theresa May to one of the Cabinet's most senior posts provoked widespread surprise at Westminster, as he has never before held ministerial office.

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