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UK's May replaces defense chief as harassment scandal widens

Staff Writer | November 2, 2017
The resignation of Britain's defense secretary Michael Fallon amid a growing sexual harassment scandal is a sign that the U.K.'s corridors of power are not always a comfortable place for women.
Michael Fallon
Britain   The resignation of the secretary
As allegations of impropriety and abuse spread to more politicians and officials, many women are expressing hope this will be a tipping point in transforming Britain's macho political culture.

Some men, though, worry they are being unfairly tainted by allegations of sexism.

Michael Fallon, a dependable lieutenant to Prime Minister Theresa May, quit as defense secretary late Wednesday, saying his past behavior "may have fallen below the high standards" expected.

Fallon had apologized after a newspaper reported that he had repeatedly touched a journalist's knee at a function in 2002, and reports suggested more allegations about him might emerge.

Fallon's resignation is an unwelcome challenge for May, who is struggling to keep her fractious government united as Britain heads for the European Union exit. She replaced Fallon on Thursday with Gavin Williamson, the former Conservative chief whip.