He was thought of Mr Reliable, surviving three a long time on the political frontline and serving beneath 4 Conservative prime ministers.
But it was a hand on the knee 15 years in the past that proved to be the start of the tip for Sir Michael Fallon.
Amid a flurry of revelations of badual harbadment and inappropriate behaviour within the political world – themselves prompted by the Harvey Weinstein allegations – he confirmed he was rebuked by journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer for touching her knee throughout a dinner in 2002.
A day later he grew to become the primary politician to resign in a scandal that appears set to canine Westminster, acknowledging “what might have been acceptable 15, 10 years ago is clearly not acceptable now”.
- Michael Fallon resigns, saying his conduct ‘fell brief’
- Michael Fallon ‘apologised for touching journalist’s knee’
The Conservative MP entered workplace when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister in 1983, and for greater than 30 years he labored his approach up the ranks of the occasion.
His time as defence secretary was characterised by his position overseeing UK navy efforts towards the so-called Islamic State within the Middle East.
With a status for being unflappable, he earned the title of Minister of the Today programme.
Who is Michael Fallon?
- Date of start: 14 May 1952 (aged 65)
- Job: MP for Sevenoaks, Kent, since 1997. Defence secretary from July 2014 to 1 November 2017
- Education: Privately educated at Epsom College, in Surrey; Studied clbadics and historical historical past on the University of St Andrews
- Family: Married to Wendy Payne. The couple have two sons
- Honours: Knighted in 2016 in David Cameron’s resignation honours
Like a lot of his friends, he got here to Parliament first as a researcher within the late 1970s.
In 1983 he unsuccessfully fought a by-election in Darlington, solely to win it 77 days later after Mrs Thatcher known as a basic election.
Four years later, he was serving as personal parliament secretary to Energy Secretary Cecil Parkinson, earlier than turning into a minister within the training division in July 1990.
That autumn, when strain was mounting on Mrs Thatcher to resign, Sir Michael was amongst a bunch of supporters, alongside Michael Portillo, who tried to steer the long-serving prime minister to remain on.
John Major took over as prime minister and saved Sir Michael in his authorities.
Sir Michael in his personal phrases
“I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent,” written in his resignation letter.
“This election shows that Labour is now a serious risk to our national security, to our economic security and to the security of your family,” talking in September 2015.
“It is through the EU that you exchange criminal records and pbadenger records and work together on counter-terrorism… We need the collective weight of the EU when you are dealing with Russian aggression or terrorism. You need to be part of these big partnerships,” making his case in February 2016 to stay within the European Union.
“We must always be ready to answer the call from further away, from fragile democracies, from the very poorest, from the hardest hit. That means deploying our ships, our planes, and yes, our troops on the ground where we and our allies are asked to help.” In his 2017 Conservative Party convention speech.
But his political profession stalled when he misplaced his Darlington seat to Labour’s Alan Milburn within the 1992 General Election.
After leaving the House of Commons, he based a bunch of youngsters’s nurseries known as Just Learning.
But he bounced again in 1997 as MP for Sevenoaks, though his occasion had been now out of energy with Tony Blair’s Labour Party operating the nation.
It was one other 13 years earlier than the Conservatives returned to energy – Sir Michael was considered one of a restricted variety of ministers from the Major years to return to the entrance benches.
He was made deputy chairman and given a lot of ministerial posts earlier than being handed the defence temporary in 2014.
Sir Michael was seen by his occasion as a superb media performer, and was usually the particular person trusted to look on TV and radio at tough occasions.
Amid the turmoil of two tough basic elections and the EU referendum – and the adjustments of prime minister that adopted – he remained as defence secretary.
That was, till he determined to resign on Wednesday night.
What others say
“I like Sir Michael Fallon, I have always got on very well with him and… I have always had a good, friendly, bantery relationship [with him], which is why I didn’t take the issue seriously at the time and haven’t since.” Julia Hartley-Brewer
“You have championed our brave armed forces. You should take particular pride in the way the United Kingdom has risen to the challenge of tackling the barbaric threat of Daesh.” Theresa May, in a written reply to his resignation letter
“Michael Fallon is a decent man. But today I think he has demeaned himself and he has demeaned his office.” Former Labour chief Ed Miliband, who Sir Michael accused of stabbing his brother within the again and steered he was additionally keen to stab the UK within the again.
“Michael Fallon stood up and promised he would not cut our Army below 82,000. Now he’s been left red-faced as that promise lies in tatters.” Lib Dem peer Lord Paddy Ashdown, a former Royal Marine, in June 2017.
“Defence is a complicated portfolio to master and spending a bit of time in that appointment is really, really important to be able to understand the detail, the personality and the needs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and he’d got that.” Lord Dannatt, chief of the final workers – the top of the Army – from 2006 to 2009.