View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
1 November 2017updated 02 Nov 2017 9:42am

Michael Fallon resigns as defence secretary over “previous conduct”

Cabinet minister admits his behaviour has “fallen below the high standards” expected of a minister.

By Helen Lewis

Michael Fallon has resigned as defence secretary, it has been announced. In a letter to the prime minister, he admitted his behaviour had “fallen below the high standards” expected of a minister.

Earlier this week, he admitted touching a female journalist’s knee. It is understood that he told the prime minister he could not guarantee further, similar allegations would not emerge in the coming days.

The BBC’s former political editor Nick Robinson has tweeted that he expects a limited reshuffle: “1 up, 1 in”. He also posted this tweet: 

ITV political editor Robert Peston adds:

In his resignation letter, Fallon said that many allegations about his previous conduct were “false” but he had “reflected on his position”. 

in her reply, the prime minister Theresa May thanked Fallon for the “characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position” and expresses hope that he will continue to serve his constituents. She was due to appear at the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year Awards tonight, but has pulled out.

Content from our partners
Inside the UK's enduring love for chocolate
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.