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UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigns over misconduct claims

UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigns over misconduct claims

May has called for rules on MPs' behaviour to be toughened after the emergence of several allegations of sexual harassment at Westminster.

It follows the resignation of former incumbent Michael Fallon, who quit the post last night over an incident 15 years ago in which he placed a hand on the knee of journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"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."

As Fallon appeared on television to read a prepared statement, repeating his letter to May, the USA government said the resignation "should in no way impact our relationship" with Britain.

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, said it was time to break with a culture in politics when powerful people "use positions of power to demand things from others".

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.

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

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

The British prime minister has ordered an investigation into the allegations against Conservative members, including Cabinet minister Damian Green.

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.

It was already reported that he would face no investigation for this as the woman in question laughed it off.

'I am very clear that we will take action against those where there are allegations that we see, and the evidence is there, that there has been misconduct, ' she told MPs.

He added: "There is no discussion in Parliament about how we support the positive values that we want public life to reflect".


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