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.

13 COMMENTS

    • To be fair, it doesn’t matter which party won or which person was put in the role, cuts would happen. Following the blair era, there is no desire to go back to war and so the focus on gearing up the forces is on the backburner behind many other things that are also getting cut like the NHS.

      • Not necessarily Steve. The Tories have been less willing to increase taxes and spend more than Labour, and that gives them less fiscal room to move. Labour MPs also hold a number of seats in shipbuilding areas, including the West of Scotland and North West and North East of England.

      • I think that’s true. The only interesting effect on defence that just might possibly arise is what the DUP ask for in return for propping up Theressa May’s government. The general consensus about what they would demand that I saw in the news analysis and speculation that I watched on TV, apart from a Brexit that yielded a frictionless border, was pretty simple – “money”. In that context I do note that Harland & Wolff is in Belfast, did the Point Class Ro-Ros ages ago, and I think still has facilities to build big stuff.

        As a small party I wonder whether the DUP has the in-depth knowledge to know what potential opportunities there might be for them in the defence plans but just perhaps they could apply pressure to get MARS SSS design and build under way ASAP at H&W or even an extra 1 or 2 T31 built in Belfast not on the Clyde. (With the commitments to building 13 escorts in Scotland I doubt they could get any of the existing T26 or T31 planned construction diverted to Belfast except maybe the 6th T31.)

        • Being from Northern Ireland myself, I often wonder why H&W hasn’t secured work from the MoD for so long. Maybe it’s cost but it is a great shipyard and they did build the Titanic afterall :-). Would love to see some MoD contracts come to Belfast.

  1. He is a professional politician, never had a proper job and is not a good minister of anything in my view.

    Hi key skill is avoiding answering direct questions and we have all seen how that has gone down this week.

    Time for a change

  2. The UKs problems are deep rooted. Too much spin and political interference in defence and other public services (NHS and Education) what we actually need is to give the defence budget to the military to spend as they see fit. We would then not be in the mess we are in.
    I would love the MARS supply ships to go to H+W and a second batch of 6 type 31s to be final assembled in Appledore.
    It is interesting the SNP only acheived 38% of the electoral vote in Scotland and must have been flippin close to loosing many many more seats than they did. They were lucky to cone out of the election with the number of mps they did.
    Indyref2 is clearly dead, so now I am happy to support ongoing shipbuilding on the Clyde.
    Really delighted the SNP have been given a clear message. Maybe now they will concentrate on their actual job. That of running a devolved Scotland and try to keep to budget instead of running up a £15 billion debt every year for rUK to pay off.

  3. So, bad news for the UK defence community then.

    You know the Tories don’t give a damn about defence when they put this useless nodding dog in the position.

  4. For thous of you who can remember 1982 Fallon is as much use as JOHN NOTT He was widely criticised by the Royal Navy chiefs over the 1981 Defence White Paper for his decision to cut back on government naval expenditure during the severe economic recession of the early 1980s; the cuts originally included the proposed scrapping of the Antarctic patrol ship HMS Endurance and the reduction of the Surface Fleet to 50 frigates and from three to two Aircraft Carriers.

  5. Hmmm. Not a fan. Thought Hammond did OK myself. Would love an ex military man to get higher into Tory ranks and get the Defence job.

  6. At least there is some stability in the MOD for now. In the days since the UK election, I’ve become concerned about the future of UK defences. The Pound has slipped against both the EURO and the Dollar, so in the short term, any equipment or services procured from abroad are to cost more, putting additional financial stress into current programmes. In addition, another election this year, could result in a Labour government, and that could see a cooling in defence spending, in preference for increased welfare budgets?

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