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Michael Fallon resigns as defence secretary after being accused in Westminster sex scandal

LONDON — Michael Fallon has resigned as defence secretary after being named in the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.

Conservative MP Fallon announced his resignation from Theresa May’s Cabinet on Wednesday evening, saying his behaviour in the past had “fallen short” of what is expected of him.

Fallon this week admitted to inappropriate behaviour towards journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer more than a decade ago.

The prominent journalist claimed Fallon “repeatedly put his hand on my knee” during a dinner at Conservative conference and she “calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would ‘punch him in the face’.”

A close ally of the defence secretary told The Guardian: “Julia is a good friend of Michael’s. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee. She made it clear it was unwelcome and he rightly apologised 15 years ago.”

It’s not yet clear whether Fallon’s resignation was a result of the Hartley-Brewer related or an as-yet undisclosed incident.

The defence secretary was the first cabinet minister to be identified in the scandal which has engulfed British politics, with allegations levelled at almost 40 Conservative MPs and ministers.

The veteran MP for Sevenoaks was the first cabinet minister to be identified in the scandal which has engulfed British politics, with allegations levelled at almost 40 Conservative MPs and ministers.

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