Fallon has left the government’s front bench, saying that his “behaviour in the past may have fallen short.”

Earlier in the month the Minister made front page news when it was revealed he had inappropriately touched journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee during a dinner in 2002.

Hartley-Brewer recalled that, after Fallon kept putting his hand on her knee, she “calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would punch him in the face”.

Shortly after, on the 1st of November 2017, Fallon resigned due to “allegations…about my previous conduct”.

In his resignation letter to May, Fallon said:

“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 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.”

In her reply, the prime minister 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.”

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. Penny Mordant MP for Portsmouth north, former junior minister in the MOD, RN reservist and father was an ex para is my choice.

    Fallon was past his sell by date as a safe pair of hands and no doubt more revelations of his behaviour are to come, but don’t expect miracles from a new minister the straight jacket of defence budget leaves little room for manoeuvre.

    • Don’t know much about the lady mentioned but what you say otherwise is right on the button. Nobody should get carried away. It may even be a case of better the devil you “knew”….maybe.

    • Even in imagination, not a bad choice. Hartley Brewer would take no prisoners and has a sharp mind. She would be immediately undermined by the civil servants who mismanage everything to their own satisfaction. The Defence Secretary is usually just a push over for Whitehall. The last one I admired and respected was Roy Mason.

      • I met Roy Mason once in NI 76 or 77, he wanted to accompany a foot patrol around the New Lodge Belfast. Which was quite brave of him given the PIRA presence in the area.

        After some discussion this was permitted, however we flooded the area with troops and police. The locals were very worried to see so many security forces they thought we were going to evict the lot of them and send them to the Republic.

  2. If it is Penny it would be a further kick in the teeth for the amphibious fleet and th RM – all of which are based in Plymouth, not Portsmouth.
    Would be difficult for her as a local MP to protect the Plymouth “fleet” at the expense of Portsmouth.

    • If you want a balance I give you Johnny Mercer, Plymouth MP. Retired 2008 as Captain, attached to 29 Commando Royal Artillery, three tours of Afghanistan and more and currently a strong and active campaigner for veterans rights. Good bloke.

  3. You know whoever it is they are going to be a lying, two faced, incompetent politician who has zero knowledge of defence. Too many of our political class have zero life experience and have ever served the country in public service, before going into politics that is.
    We need politicians like Paddy Ashdown (ex SAS) who will at least have some awareness of military matters- I am not aware of any Tory MP of this calibre or experience.
    The country’s defence is in a mess- canabilising active RN ships and subs to keep others going due to a lack of spare parts- what the …..?
    No SAM system for QE carriers- only strike carrier in the world without a SAM
    No BMD (even though our type 45’s could be so equip if we wanted- ditto we could easily place a mobile SAM system on the land using the component for the Sampson system)
    Not enough frigates or destroyers- defence select committee described the current 19 ship fleet as woefully inadequate and the RN own assessment is the need for at least 26 escort ships just to meet current commitments to NATO, standing forces and deployments
    No replacement for HMS ocean
    Risk of selling of LPDs early and therefore scrapping our highly specialised and much needed (by NATO) amphibious assault capability
    RM numbers dropped by 1000 instead of uplifting RN numbers so the RN can man its fleet
    No anti ship missile fit for RN surface fleet- when are we going to get an announcement on mk41 vl strike cells for type 45s and type 26?
    No firm commitment for adequate numbers of F35Bs passed the 48 active aircraft already committed too- active fleet needs to be 90+ aircraft
    Only 7 attack submarines when defence select committee states we should have a minimum of 10 to face down current threats and current commitments
    No plan to replace challenger 2 MBT even thought history shows the best defence against an armoured assault is another MBT or air supremacy (which cannot always be guaranteed as is going to be contested against any peer enemy)- we need something that guarantees supremacy against Aramata series.
    In short a bit of a mess to inherit and to sort out- hard to resolve when we are told there is no money, we have a stupendously massive Brexit bill to pay and the Governmental debt is ever climbing. still just as long as we keep giving away £13 billion a year in foreign aid it will all end up rosy.

    • MR Bell,
      While you were writing your tirade I put the name of my MP up who definitely has experience. If your so jaundiced as to condemn people you don’t know before their names are even mentioned why bother to subject the rest of us to a constant, repetitive blog. It really is becoming boring.

    • Mr Bell
      An interesting tirade as usual but sadly, as usual, full of errors. And your anti-Brexit standpoint shows through if you recommend that EU Luvvie Ashdown (who isn’t actually an MP but never mind) and your “stupendously massive Brexit bill to pay” comment.

      However your biggest mistake was your “incompetent politician who has zero knowledge of defence” comment. Really? Try these Tories for a start. And just to rub salt into your Brexit wound the guy leading that negotiation is himself ex SAS (David Davies)

      (As of pre the last election)
      Sir Gerald Howarth Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (1968 – 1988) Acting Pilot Officer
      John Baron Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1984 – 1987) Captain
      Bob Stewart DSO Cheshire Regiment (25 July 1969 – 1 February 1996) Colonel
      Chris Green Territorial Army
      David Tredinnick Grenadier Guards (1968 – 1971) Lieutenant
      Tobias Ellwood Royal Green Jackets (1991 – 1996) Captain
      James Cleverly Territorial Army (1991 – present) Major
      Ian Liddell-Grainger Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1980 – 1997) Major
      Julian Brazier Special Air Service (1972 – 1985) Captain
      Simon Hart Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (five years)
      The Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith Scots Guards (1975 – 1981) Lieutenant
      Jason McCartney Royal Air Force (1988 – 1997) Flight Lieutenant
      The Rt. Hon Hugo Swire Grenadier Guards (1980 – 1983) Captain
      Jack Lopresti Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (2007 – present) Corporal
      Sir Edward Leigh Honourable Artillery Company
      Adam Holloway Grenadier Guards (1991 – 1997) Captain
      The Rt. Hon David Davis Artists Rifles (1966 – 1967)
      Mike Penning Grenadier Guards (1974 – 1980) Corporal
      Kris Hopkins Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Private
      Philip Hollobone Parachute Regiment (1989 – 1997) Corporal
      The Rt. Hon Sir Nicholas Soames 11th Hussars (1967 – 1972) Lieutenant
      Mark Lancaster Royal Engineers (1988–present) Lieutenant Colonel
      David Davies Royal Artillery (1988 – 1989) Gunner
      The Rt. Hon Desmond Swayne Royal Mercian & Lancastrian Yeomanry (1987 – present) Major
      Richard Benyon Royal Green Jackets (1980 – 1985)
      Dr. Julian Lewis Royal Naval Reserve (1979 – 1982) Seaman
      Stephen Barclay Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Lieutenant
      Bill Wiggin Royal Welch Fusiliers Lieutenant
      Andrew Bridgen Royal Marines Lieutenant
      James Gray Honourable Artillery Company (1977–84)
      Clive Lewis Territorial Army (2000 – 2009) Lieutenant
      Rory Stewart OBE Black Watch (1991 – 1992) Lieutenant
      Johnny Mercer Royal Horse Artillery (2002 – 2013) Captain
      Penny Mordaunt Royal Navy (2010 – present) Lieutenant
      The Rt. Hon Mark Francois Royal Anglian Regiment (1985 – 1991) Lieutenant
      Crispin Blunt 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own) (1979 – 1990) Captain
      Stephen Phillips QC 14th/20th King’s Hussars and The Welsh Guards
      Royston Smith Royal Air Force (1980 – 1990) Engineer
      Richard Drax Coldstream Guard (1978 – 1987) Captain
      The Rt. Hon Andrew Robathan Special Air Service (1974 – 1989) Major
      Andrew Selous Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1981 – 1994) Major
      Dr. Andrew Murrison Royal Navy (1989–present) Surgeon Commander
      The Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell Royal Navy (1975 – 1977) Lieutenant
      Tom Tugendhat MBE Territorial Army (2000 – 2013) Lieutenant Colonel
      James Heappey Wells Territorial Army (2004 – 2012) Major
      Steve Baker Royal Air Force (1989 – 1999) Flight Lieutenant.[1]
      Ben Wallace Scots Guards (1991 – 1998) Capt

      And by the way there are NO LibDem (of 12), 2 Labour (of 262) and 2 DUP (of 10) ex Service MPs. So your tirade of abuse aimed at the Tories is shown to be what it is. Utter bollocks.

      • Very interesting list one minor correction, Johnny Mercer is Royal Artillery as opposed to RHA.

        The use of RHA for some RA units is purely for symbolic purposes.

        • Mike – Glad someone actually read it all and thanks for the accuracy …. what struck me was the very strong Service backgrounds of Conservative MPs rather than Labour or LibDem. And I make no political point here.

          • That’s ok Chris, thanks for posting the list. I never knew so many had served in the UK forces.

            Being an ex gunner myself I am aware of such trivia regards RHA and RA.

            My own experience it that most service personnel see the Tories as their natural political home. That’s just the way it is.

  4. I for one am not overly happy about this. I am not condoning inappropriate behaviour and if it turns out that there are more instances then it is correct for him to go. If there aren’t then I am at a bit of a loss why he is going. The lady concerned certainly didn’t want him to resign over it.

    He may have said “growing navy” and £178bn defence budget” a few too many times but I genuinely believe he was trying to secure more resources for defence.

    • The spreadsheet suggests it was far from a single ancient knee touching incident and his resignation speech says as much.

      Although I suggest it was the moralising hypocrisy of last weeks RN submariner bashing which was designed to shut down their public lobbying which really did for him.

      • Its a shame really – for all the moaning people do on here he wasn’t the disaster that many think he was. I had real hopes that we could get more resources for defence and it was good to hear him say that was his aim. From what I am reading now no one appears to be suggesting that he was some sort of predator, but clearly his behaviour was unacceptable.

    • Rob. Fallon had to go. One cannot have officers and ranks going before Courts Martial for this sort of misconduct that the ‘man at the top’ admits to. He had to go.

  5. From Fallon to felon in one foul swoop! Just what the MOD needs right now, and the crows will be circling to take rich pickings for their own departments. Should the security of our country be so badly managed?

  6. Tobias Ellwood, seems to be another name in the frame. Ex RGJ officer and assisted in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in March this year rather than running away to seek a safe haven.

    Another good contender, but remember this is politics which is not a meritocracy.

  7. Never heard of him – just read his wiki page and there isn’t much there. I would assume this is more to do with shoring up TM’s government than it is the best person for the job.

    Still, lets give him a chance before slating him.

  8. Too convenient for me. Hartley- Brewer has said she doesn’t see these allegations as a resigning matter. Am comcerned the real reason for the resignation is that Fallon has given up in the fight against defence cuts.

    • Or maybe several more accusations of inappropriate behaviour on his part.

      I bet most of Westminster is quaking in its boots about possible revelations or cover ups, this story has a long way to run before we end up with the truth.

      • Very possible. That said on the whole I would say Fallon was one of the good guys. Westminster is a hot house, MP’s are away from home in the week. This looks like nice guy has mid life crisis and trips up, not a Cyril Smith incarnation of evil.
        A change of press culture away from sleeze towards a bit more good news would not go amiss. I wrote to the BBC to point out that they seemed to have missed the fact on their web site that Lewis Hamilton has won the F1 world championship for the 4th time- British driver, British car ( engine excepted), poses for photos with the Union flag.
        Plenty of room for an article on Kevin Spacey though. Is it me? Rant over..

        • No it’s not you. It’s endemic of the BBC. Sometimes known as the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation or even Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation.

  9. Come on guys Ministers of State are picked around the power dynamics within the top of the political party in power. Their knowledge, understanding or background in a field is of apsolutly no bearing whatsoever, it’s who the PM needs in one of the top stops to keep a particular group of MPs happy/reward one of her supports. It’s just how it is.

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