Fallon is the first lawmaker to resign amid a growing number of claims against British politicians that have emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has encouraged people around the world to share their stories about sexual harassmen
London. Michael Fallon resigned Wednesday as Britain's defense secretary after allegations about inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Fallon is the first lawmaker to resign amid a growing number of claims against British politicians that have emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has encouraged people around the world to share their stories about sexual harassment.
Earlier this week, the Sun newspaper ran a front-page story about Fallon repeatedly putting his hand on a radio journalist's knee in 2002. The journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, dismissed the incident as "mildly amusing." But British media reported that there may be similar incidents that have occurred more recently.
"A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct," Fallon said in his resignation letter. "Many of these have been false but I accept in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent.
"I have reflected on my position and I am now resigning as defence secretary."
Responding to the resignation, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position, and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others."
A number of claims have been made against British politicians in recent days.
International Trade Minister Mark Garnier is under investigation following claims that in 2010 he asked his then-secretary to buy sex toys for him and referred to her as "sugar t---."
Garnier didn't deny the claims, but said that it was "good-humored hijinks" and didn't amount to sexual harassment.
Stephen Crabb, the former work and pensions secretary, apologized for sending explicit text messages to a 19-year-old woman hoping to get a job in his office in 2013. The Environment Secretary Michael Gove also apologized for his "clumsy" joke about Harvey Weinstein during a radio interview.(Washington Post)