Michael Fallon

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For the American physician/candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, see Mike Fallon.
The Right Honourable
Michael Fallon
MP
Michael Fallon, MP.jpg
Secretary of State for Defence
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Minister of State for Portsmouth
In office
16 January 2014 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Matthew Hancock
Minister of State for Energy
In office
28 March 2013 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by John Hayes
Succeeded by Matthew Hancock
Minister of State for Business and Enterprise
In office
4 September 2012 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Mark Prisk
Succeeded by Matthew Hancock
Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
4 September 2010 – 4 September 2012
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by The Lord Ashcroft
Succeeded by Sarah Newton
Member of Parliament
for Sevenoaks
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Mark Wolfson
Majority 17,515 (35.4%)
Member of Parliament
for Darlington
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Ossie O'Brien
Succeeded by Alan Milburn
Personal details
Born (1952-05-14) 14 May 1952 (age 62)
Perth, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Wendy Elisabeth Payne
Alma mater University of St Andrews

Michael Cathel Fallon (born 14 May 1952) is a British Conservative Party politician who is currently the Member of Parliament for Sevenoaks, and the Secretary of State for Defence since 15 July 2014. He was previously the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Early life[edit]

Michael Fallon is the son of a surgeon. He was educated at Craigflower School in Dunfermline and at Epsom College, then an all-boys independent school in Surrey. He went on to study at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 1974 with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in classics and ancient history.

Political career[edit]

As a student, he was active in the European Movement and the "Yes" youth campaign in the 1975 referendum. After graduation 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 Baroness Elles MEP.

In July 1982 he was chosen as Conservative candidate for Darlington and fought the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983 following the death of Ted Fletcher, the Labour MP. 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 election. He remained the MP there 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 in the safe Conservative constituency of Sevenoaks following the retirement of the sitting Tory MP, Mark Wolfson, and has served as the MP there since.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In parliament Michael Fallon was appointed as the 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 the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Science in July 1990 a position he continued to hold under the new premiership of John Major He held the position until his defeat at the 1992 General Election.

Between 1992-1997, he set up a chain of children’s nurseries called 'Just Learning' with funding from Dragons' Den (UK) star Duncan Bannatyne, then he remained chief executive.[1]

Following his re-election at the 1997 General Election he was an Opposition spokesman on Trade and Industry and then Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but he resigned from the front-bench through ill-health in October 1998, and has remained on the backbenches until his promotion to Deputy Chairman of the Party.

Since 1999 he has been a member of the Treasury Select Committee, and was chairman of its Sub-Committee from 2001-2010. He also served on the 1922 Committee Executive from 2005-2007.

Mr Fallon was also a director at Tullett Prebon, a leading brokerage firm in the City of London. In September 2012, it was announced that he was to be made a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.[2]

Michael Fallon has been one of the biggest supporters of the privatisation of Royal Mail.[3] In 2014 he was made Minister for Portsmouth.[4]

In 2014, during the reshuffle of government cabinet he was promoted to Secretary of State for Defence.

Expenses Scandal[edit]

According to one newspaper, Mr Fallon, the deputy chairman of the Treasury select committee, claimed for the mortgage repayments on his Westminster flat in their entirety. MPs are only allowed to claim for interest charges.

Between 2002 and 2004, Mr 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 in the Commons fees office in September 2004, he said: "Why has no one brought this to my attention before?"[citation needed] He repaid £2,200 of the 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 suggested that Mr Fallon submit fresh claims which would "reassign" the surplus payments to other costs he had legitimately incurred.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Fallon has been married to Wendy Elisabeth Payne since 1986 and they have two sons and the family lives in Sundridge, Kent. While he was out of Parliament he was a director for Quality Care Homes plc and of other companies founded by Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne.[citation needed]

Publications[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ossie O'Brien
Member of Parliament
for Darlington

1983–1992
Succeeded by
Alan Milburn
Preceded by
Mark Wolfson
Member of Parliament
for Sevenoaks

1997–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Ashcroft
Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Sarah Newton
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Prisk
Minister of State for Business and Enterprise
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Matthew Hancock
Preceded by
John Hayes
Minister of State for Energy
2013–2014
New office Minister of State for Portsmouth
2014
Preceded by
Philip Hammond
Secretary of State for Defence
2014–present
Incumbent