Gavin Williamson replaces Michael Fallon as Theresa May's new defence secretary

Nov 03, 2017, 00:55
Gavin Williamson replaces Michael Fallon as Theresa May's new defence secretary

A spokesman for Mr Fallon said when the news emerged on Monday: "He had apologised when the incident happened 15 years ago and both Julia and he now considered the matter closed".

The journalist, radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer, said that he kept doing it until she was forced to threaten to "punch him in the face".

He told the BBC that what had been "acceptable 15, 10 years ago is clearly not acceptable now".

"I have reflected on my position and I am therefore resigning as Defence Secretary".

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In his letter of resignation to May, he said there had been many allegations about lawmakers in recent days, including "some about my previous conduct".

"I doubt very much if one of the standards they require in the armed forces means that no man in the military has ever touched the knee of a younger woman".

May responded by saying: "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".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Gavin Williamson as her new defence minister after his predecessor resigned in a sexual harassment scandal that prompted calls for an end to the "locker room" culture in parliament.

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Some insiders were stunned when Williamson's name was announced on Thursday morning.

Williamson - a former parliamentary aide to David Cameron who led Theresa May's leadership campaign last summer - has been portrayed in the press as a savvy political operator who knows the dirt on his colleagues and how to exploit the parliamentary system to get what he wants.

The prime minister said on Wednesday that action would be taken when there were allegations and evidence of sexual misconduct.

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