Since 2014, Sir Michael Fallon has served as Secretary of State for Defence and been a member of the National Security Council.
He was previously Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
As a student, Fallon was active in the European Movement and the “Yes” youth campaign in the 1975 referendum. After university he joined the Conservative Research Department, working first for Lord Carrington in the House of Lords until 1977 and then as European Desk Officer until 1979. In 1979 he became Research Assistant to former MEP, Baroness Elles.
In July 1982 he was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Darlington to fight the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983, which was held after the Labour MP Ted Fletcher had died. Although he lost to Labour’s Ossie O’Brien by 2,412 votes, 77 days later he defeated O’Brien by 3,438 votes in the 1983 general election.
He remained MP for Darlington until the 1992 general election when he was defeated by Labour’s Alan Milburn by a margin of 2,798 votes. He re-entered Parliament at the 1997 general election representing the safe Conservative constituency of Sevenoaks following the retirement of the sitting Tory MP, Mark Wolfson, and has served as the MP there since.
In February 2016, the week after a leaked United Nations report had found the Saudi-led coalition guilty of conducting “widespread and systematic” air strikes against civilians in Yemen – including camps for internally displaced people, weddings, schools, hospitals, religious centers, vehicles and markets – and the same day the International Development Select Committee had said that the UK should end all arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of ongoing, large-scale human rights violations by the Kingdom’s armed forces in Yemen, Fallon was criticised for attending a £450-a-head dinner for an arms-industry trade-body.
In April 2017, Fallon confirmed that the UK would use its nuclear weapons in a “pre-emptive initial strike” in “the most extreme circumstances” on the BBC Today programme.