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British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon forced to resign in the wake of sex harassment claims

1 November 2017 9:49 PM
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British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon forced to resign in the wake of sex harassment claims

ONE of Britain’s most senior ministers has been forced to resign in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal — and a ‘sex pest dossier’ that threatens to claim more political scalps.

The senior politician admitted his “previous conduct” had “fallen below the high standards” expected of him after he was accused of bad behaviour.

Yesterday, The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom revealed that Sir Michael — a previously respected figure in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory party — had admitted grabbing the leg of a female journalist and apologised for his behaviour.

But his sudden resignation today comes as a surprise given that the journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, said she did not regard herself as a victim of harassment or assault.

The Sun understands that Sir Michael privately told Theresa May he “couldn’t guarantee there wouldn’t be more stories like Julia Hartley-Brewer” — although he insisted there were no new claims about to break.

He wrote in a public letter to the PM: “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct.

“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. I am reflecting on my position and I am therefore resigning as Defence Secretary.”

He did not explain which allegations had led to his resignation — the only claim which is currently public is the allegation regarding Ms Hartley-Brewer.

The 65-year-old MP for Sevenoaks has been Defence Secretary for three years, having first become a minister under Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Bombshell claims have seen dozens of MPs accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Political aides compiled a list of 36 Tories accused of lurid behaviour — including six cabinet ministers — while a Labour activist has claimed a senior party official told her not to report that she had been raped by a colleague as it may damage her career.

It is a secret WhatsApp group used by women working in Westminster who use it to warn each other about MPs with a reputation for sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Members of the group include parliamentary researchers, secretaries and aides who claim that politicians on both sides of the house have had sex in their offices, indecently pestered members of staff and subjected female workers to sexist nicknames.

Cabinet members including Mark Garnier were among the politicians named in the group.

Reports include MPs across the political divide groping staff in lifts and having ‘wandering hands’ in taxis.

Members of the group include parliamentary researchers, secretaries and aides who claim that politicians on both sides of the house have had sex in their offices, indecently pestered members of staff and subjected female workers to sexist nicknames.

Specific allegations include a cabinet minister groping people at drinks parties, a Labour MP groping a woman while on a foreign trip, and a parliamentarian aggressively pursuing female juniors.

A Tory grandee has allegedly been banned from hiring young “leggy” women to work for him and others politicians have been demanding affairs with female staff.

A dossier has been compiled by Tory aides and details allegations being made against Conservative MPs. The list includes six Cabinet Ministers.

Source: news.com.au

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