Fallon resigned for lunging at female journalist and trying to kiss her on the lips in 2003

From The Observer: The dramatic circumstances of Michael Fallon’s sudden resignation as defence secretary last week can be revealed by the Observer.

The cabinet heavyweight’s shock departure on Wednesday followed a phone call from the journalist, Jane Merrick, who informed Downing Street that he had lunged at her and attempted to kiss her on the lips in 2003 after they had lunched together.

The revelation was the tipping point for No 10, which the Observer understands had been compiling a list of alleged incidents involving Fallon since claims against him were first made.

After Fallon’s attempt to kiss her, Merrick, then a 29-year-old junior political reporter at the Daily Mail, said she “shrank away in horror and ran off to my office in the Press Gallery”. Writing in the Observer, she said: “I felt humiliated, ashamed. Was I even guilty that maybe I had led him on in some way by drinking with him? After years of having a drink with so many other MPs who have not acted inappropriately towards me, I now know I was not.”

A friend of Fallon confirmed the incident took place. “Michael realises this kind of incident was unacceptable which is why he had to resign,” they said.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]