|Sir Michael Fallon|
Michael Cathel Fallon|
14 May 1952
|Alma mater||University of St Andrews|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Spouse||Wendy Elisabeth Payne|
Sir Michael Fallon (born 14 May 1952) is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for Sevenoaks. Succeeding Philip Hammond, Fallon was appointed Secretary of State for Defence in July 2014, is a member of the National Security Council and was knighted in David Cameron's resignation honours list in July 2016.
On 27 June 2017, Sir Michael told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that Britain is 'absolutely ready' to back US strikes against Syria:
- "As always in war, the military action you use must be justified, it must be legal, it must be proportionate, it must be necessary. In the last case it was. If the Americans take similar action again, I want to be very clear - we will support it."
- “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct. Many of these have been false, but I accept in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent. I have reflected on my position and I am now resigning as Defence Secretary.”
Fallon, the son of surgeon Martin Fallon OBE, was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School near Dunfermline and at Epsom College, an independent boys' school in Surrey. He then went to the University of St Andrews, where he read Classics and Ancient History, graduating in 1974 with a Master of Arts (MA) degree.
As a student, Fallon was active in the European Movement and the "Yes" youth campaign in the 1975 referendum. After university he joined the Conservative Research Department, working first for Lord Carrington in the House of Lords until 1977 and then as European Desk Officer until 1979. In 1979 he became Research Assistant to former MEP, Baroness Elles.
In July 1982 he was selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate to fight the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983, following the death of Labour MP Ted Fletcher. Although he lost to Labour's Ossie O'Brien by some 2,412 votes, just 77 days later he defeated O'Brien by 3,438 votes in the June 1983 general election. He remained MP for Darlington until the 1992 General Election when he was defeated by Labour's Alan Milburn by a margin of 2,798 votes.
He re-entered Parliament at the 1997 General Election representing the safe Conservative constituency of Sevenoaks following the retirement of the sitting Tory MP, Mark Wolfson, and has served as the MP there since.
In parliament Michael Fallon was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Energy Cecil Parkinson following the 1987 General Election, and in 1988 joined the government of Margaret Thatcher as an Assistant Whip, becoming a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury in 1990.
Mrs Thatcher appointed him Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Education and Skills in July 1990, a position he continued to hold under the new premiership of John Major. He remained in that office until his 1992-General Election defeat.
Between 1992–97, Fallon set up a chain of children’s nurseries called Just Learning with funding from Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, where he became chief executive.
Following his return to Parliament at the 1997 General Election he was appointed Opposition Spokesman for Trade and Industry and then Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but he resigned from the front-bench owing to ill-health in October 1998, and remained on the backbenches until his promotion as Deputy Chairman of the Party.
From 1999 he was a member of the Treasury Select Committee, and chairman of its Sub-Committee (2001–10). He also served as a 1922 Committee executive between 2005–07.
In September 2012, he was sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, upon his appointment as Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Fallon has been a director at Tullett Prebon, a leading brokerage firm in the City of London, and one of the biggest supporters of the privatisation of Royal Mail.
Run-up to the 2015 general election
In the run-up to the 2015 general election Fallon wrote an article in The Times saying that Ed Miliband had stabbed his brother, David Miliband, in the back to become Labour leader and he would also stab the UK in the back to become prime minister. Fallon subsequently declined the opportunity to describe Miliband as a decent person and his comments embarrassed Conservative supporters. Miliband's response saying that Fallon had fallen below his usual standards and demeaned himself were seen by the New Statesman as dignified, contrasting with Fallon's counter-productive personal attack.
An Election Communication posted to his constituents states that Fallon "has taken a close interest in family issues, voting against gay marriage and supporting parental responsibility. He works closely with local churches when moral matters come before Parliament."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Fallon, Deputy Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, claimed for mortgage repayments on his Westminster flat in their entirety. MPs are only allowed to claim for interest charges.
Between 2002 and 2004, Fallon regularly claimed £1,255 per month in capital repayments and interest, rather than the £700-£800 for the interest-component alone. After his error was noticed by staff at the Commons Fees Office in September 2004, he asked: "Why has no one brought this to my attention before?" He repaid £2,200 of this over-claim, but was allowed to offset the remaining £6,100 against his allowance. After realising they had failed to notice the excessive claims, Commons staff reportedly suggested Fallon submit fresh claims which would "reassign" the surplus payments to other costs he had legitimately incurred.
Fallon has been married to Wendy Elisabeth Payne since 1986 and they have two sons. The family lives in Sundridge, Kent. While he was out of Parliament he was a director of Quality Care Homes plc and other companies founded by Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne.
He was banned from driving for 18 months in 1983 after admitting a drink driving offence during the General Election campaign.
- The Quango Explosion: Public Bodies and Ministerial Patronage by Philip Holland and Michael Fallon, 1978, Conservative Political Centre ISBN 0-85070-621-1
- Sovereign Members by Michael Fallon, 1982
- The Rise of the Euroquango by Michael Fallon, 1982, Adam Smith Institute ISBN 0-906517-22-2
- Brighter Schools: Attracting Private Investment into State Schools by Michael Fallon, 1993, Social Market Foundation ISBN 1-874097-15-1
- "Britain 'absolutely ready' to back US strikes against Syria"
- "Michael Fallon quits as Defence Secretary, saying his behaviour has 'fallen short'"
- Holland, Tiffany (14 September 2012). "Profile: Michael Fallon, Minister for business". retail-week.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Michael Fallon becomes business minister". Telegraph.co.uk. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Debate on Royal Mail Privatisation". Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "BBC News – Minister for Portsmouth to be Michael Fallon". BBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- George Eaton (9 April 2015). "Michael Fallon's attack backfires, leaving Miliband to emerge as the decent man". The New Statesman. Retrieved 20 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Election Communication - Michael Fallon"
- Jon Swaine (21 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Michael Fallon claimed £8,300 too much in mortgage expenses". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- The Guardian, News in Brief, 5 July 1983: