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 2016.jpg
Secretary of State for Defence
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Minister of State for Portsmouth
In office
16 January – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Matt Hancock
Minister of State for Energy
In office
28 March 2013 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by John Hayes
Succeeded by Matt 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 Matt Hancock
Deputy Chair 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
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Mark Wolfson
Majority 19,561 (39%)
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 Michael Cathel Fallon
(1952-05-14) 14 May 1952 (age 64)
Perth, Scotland
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Wendy Payne
Children 2
Alma mater University of St Andrews
Religion Anglicanism

Michael Cathel Fallon MP (born 14 May 1952) is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for Sevenoaks.

Since 2014, he has served as Secretary of State for Defence and been a member of the National Security Council. He was previously Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Early life[edit]

Fallon, the son of the surgeon Martin Fallon OBE, was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School near Dunfermline and at Epsom College, an independent boys' school in Surrey. He then read Classics and Ancient History at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 1974 with a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

Political career[edit]

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 Parliamentary Candidate for Darlington to fight the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983, which was held after the Labour MP Ted Fletcher had died. Although he lost to Labour's Ossie O'Brien by 2,412 votes, 77 days later he defeated O'Brien by 3,438 votes in the 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.

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. Fallon, alongside Michael Portillo and Michael Forsyth visited Margaret Thatcher on the eve of her resignation in a last ditch and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to persuade her to reconsider her decision.[1]

Junior Minister in the Department for Education and Science[edit]

Thatcher appointed him Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Education and Science in July 1990 a position he continued to hold under the new premiership of John Major. In this office Fallon spearheaded legislation that led to the local management of schools,[2] which among other reforms gave schools a greater degree financial independence, including control of their own bank accounts and cheque books.[3] He remained in that office until his 1992-general election defeat.

Outside of Parliament, 1992-97[edit]

Between 1992–97, Fallon set up a chain of children’s nurseries called Just Learning with funding from the British Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, becoming chief executive.[4]

Return to Parliament[edit]

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,[5] upon his appointment as Minister for Business and Enterprise.

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.[6]

In January 2014, Fallon was appointed Minister for Portsmouth,[7] subsequently being promoted to the Cabinet, on 15 July 2014, as Secretary of State for Defence.

Secretary of State for Defence[edit]

Fallon with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, 10 December 2015

In February 2016, the week after a leaked United Nations report had found the Saudi-led coalition guilty of conducting "widespread and systematic" air strikes against civilians in Yemen[8] – including camps for internally displaced people, weddings, schools, hospitals, religious centers, vehicles and markets[9] – and the same day the International Development Select Committee had said that the UK should end all arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of ongoing, large-scale human rights violations by the Kingdom's armed forces in Yemen, Fallon was criticised for attending a £450-a-head dinner for an arms-industry trade-body.[10]

Run-up to the 2015 general election[edit]

During the run-up to the 2015 general election, Fallon wrote an article in The Times saying that Ed Miliband had stabbed his brother in the back to become Labour leader and he would also stab Britain in the back to become prime minister. Fallon subsequently declined the opportunity to describe Miliband as a decent person and his comments embarrassed some 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.[11]

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."[12]

Expenses scandal[edit]

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.[13]

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.[13] 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?" [13] 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.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Fallon has been married to Wendy Elisabeth Payne since 1986 and the couple have two sons. The family lives in Sundridge, Kent.

He was banned from driving for 18 months in 1983 after admitting a drink driving offence during the general election campaign.[14]

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]

  1. ^ "Extract from Margaret Thatcher The Downing Street Years", Margaret Thatcher Foundation, London 1993, Retrieved on 18 April 2016
  2. ^ They Work For You. 9 September 2010 http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-09-09b.571.0&s=speaker%3A10194#g571.2. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ They Work For You. 19 July 1991 http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1991-07-19a.641.4&s=michael+fallon+cheque+book#g648.3. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Holland, Tiffany (14 September 2012). "Profile: Michael Fallon, Minister for business". retail-week.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Michael Fallon becomes business minister". Telegraph.co.uk. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Debate on Royal Mail Privatisation". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "BBC News – Minister for Portsmouth to be Michael Fallon". BBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  8. ^ MacAskill, Ewen (27 January 2016). "UN report into Saudi-led strikes in Yemen raises questions over UK role". theguardian.com. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Gladstone, Rick (31 January 2016). "Saudi Coalition in Yemen Announces Inquiry Into Bombings". nytimes.com. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  10. ^ Stone, Jon (3 February 2016). "Ministers wined-and-dined by arms trade hours after MPs demand ban on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ http://www.michaelfallon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Fallon-M-A5-4pp-Royal-Mail.pdf
  13. ^ a b c d Jon Swaine (21 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Michael Fallon claimed £8,300 too much in mortgage expenses". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  14. ^ The Guardian, News in Brief, 5 July 1983:

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
Deputy Chair 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
Matt 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