Who is Michael Fallon? Defence secretary who’s admitted touching Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee


MICHAEL Fallon was first elected to the House of Commons as a 29-year-old and has risen through the ranks to become a cabinet minister.

But now he has admitted touching a female journalist’s knee as details emerge of sexual harassment complaints against dozens of politicians.

Who is Michael Fallon?

Fallon was born in Perth, Scotland, and his father Dr Martin Fallon OBE was a noted surgeon.

He has been married for 21 years and has two sons. The family lives in Sunbridge, Kent.

 Michael Fallon was first elected in 1982PA:Press Association Michael Fallon was first elected in 1982

As a child he was educated privately at Craigflower Preparatory School near Dunfermline and Epsom College in Surrey.

Fallon then attended the University of St Andrews in Scotland – where he was an active in student politics and campaigned for the Keep Britain in Europe campaign in the 1975 referendum.

He was elected as the Conservative MP for Darlington in 1983, at the age of 29.

The young politician rose through the ranks of the Conservative party and was appointed by Margaret Thatcher as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Education and Science in July 1990.

He lost his seat in the 1992 general election to Labour’s Alan Milburn before regaining a seat in 1997 as MP for Sevenoaks.

What is Michael Fallon’s job?

Since the Conservative party returned to government in 2010, Fallon has held a number of senior positions and was promoted to the cabinet in 2014 as Secretary of State for Defence.

He still holds the position.

Earlier this year, he said Prime Minister Theresa May would launch a nuclear strike in the scenario of a pre-emptive attack in ‘extreme circumstances’.

He said: “In the most extreme circumstances, we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike.”

What are the allegations about Julia Hartley-Brewer?

Michael Fallon has admitted touching journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee at the Conservative party conference in 2002.

The admission came amid a spreadsheet detailing allegations against 36 top Tories.

Married father-of-two Mr Fallon admitted to The Sun he had touched Julia — but insisted he apologised over the incident 15 years ago and that both considered the matter closed.

A pal said: “Julia’s a good friend of Michael’s. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee. She made clear it was unwelcome and he rightly apologised 15 years ago.”

 Fallon is currently Secretary of State for DefencePA:Press Association Fallon is currently Secretary of State for Defence

Earlier Julia had told how a Cabinet Minister had “repeatedly put his hand on my knee during a party conference dinner”.

She added: “I calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would punch him in the face. He withdrew his hand and that was the end of the matter.”

Julia said she did not feel like she was a victim of a sexual assault, and found the incident nothing more than “mildly amusing”.

Has Michael Fallon been involved in any other controversies?

In 1983, Fallon was banned from driving for 18 months after admitting drink-driving.

He also attracted criticism from some quarters for an attack on then Labour leader Ed Miliband in the 2015 general election campaign.

Fallon said: “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”

He was slammed by some Conservative commentators who claimed the attack was ‘too personal’.

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