The allegations of sexual misconduct continue to fall everywhere, and it isn’t just confined to Hollywood anymore. Michael Fallon, the British defense minister, resigned on Wednesday, in a growing sexual harassment scandal in Britain for apparently touching a television presenter’s knee in 2002.
The loss of Fallon is considered a huge blow for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party amid calls for a wholesale change in the “locker room” culture in the country’s 800-year-old parliament. May’s government is already at odds with the rest of Europe over the withdrawal of the European Union and the departure of Fallon will be keenly felt.
In his letter of resignation to May, Fallon, who had apologized earlier this week for repeatedly touching a radio presenter’s knee in 2002, said there had been many allegations about lawmakers, 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 honor to represent,” he said, offering no detail on the nature of any other allegations.
“I have reflected on my position and I am therefore resigning as defense secretary.”
May replied in a letter saying she appreciated “the characteristically serious manner” in which Fallon had considered his position and “the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others”.
The allegations against Fallon are now, much like the first allegations in Hollywood, considered the tip of the iceberg. Members of parliament have abused their power by making unwanted sexual advances to other junior members of their staffs and the media, it is reported.
May will move swiftly to appoint a replacement with as little disruption as possible and is expected to fill the position as early as Thursday.
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