British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned Wednesday after allegations of past inappropriate behavior, including that he once put his hand on a journalist's knee.
"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," Fallon wrote in his resignation letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May. "I have reflected on my position and I am therefore resigning as defence secretary"
Fallon’s spokesperson confirmed that Fallon was once reprimanded for placing his hand on a journalist’s knee during a dinner in 2002. The journalist, radio broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer, described it as a “mildly amusing” encounter that she has "no issues" about.
"I have spoken previously about a Cabinet minister who repeatedly put his hand on my knee during a party conference dinner. 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," Hartley-Brewer said in a statement.
In a followup tweet, Hartley-Brewer said "no one was remotely upset or distressed by it. My knees remain intact."
This "incident" happened in 2002. No one was remotely upset or distressed by it. My knees remain intact. I refer you to my earlier statement pic.twitter.com/TWTj0nnsWb— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) October 30, 2017
Fallon's resignation is the first from May’s government following a growing sexual harassment scandal involving members of Parliament at Westminster.