Sleaze row: Ex defence secretary denies making 'lewd' remarks

Commons leader did not call for Fallon’s sacking, clarifies No 10

Just days after Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary after admitting that his behaviour had “fallen short”, it has now emerged that his decision was partly because he was accused of behaving inappropriately towards cabinet colleague Andrea Leadsom.

Leadsom has been leading ministers’ response to the Westminster misconduct claims. In a statement to Parliament earlier this week, the Commons leader had reportedly said that procedures for handling complaints about MPs needed to be overhauled as women working in Parliament had a right to feel safe.

Read related story: Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon resigns admitting his behaviour had ‘fallen short’

She is also reported to have objected to lewd remarks Fallon made at a parliamentary meeting six years ago when they were members of the Treasury Select Committee. According to media sources, Leadsom had complained to Fallon about her cold hands, to which he had allegedly replied: “I know where you can put them to warm them up”.

A source close to Fallon has stated that he “categorically denies” these claims, while Leadsom has not commented on them.

In a statement from No 10 today: “The Leader of the House did not, and has not, asked the prime minister to consider the position of Sir Michael Fallon when he was defence secretary.”

Fallon has been replaced by chief whip Gavin Williamson.

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