Downing Street repeatedly refused to say today whether the Prime Minister has confidence in Sir Michael Fallon after he admitted touching a journalist’s knee.
The Defence Secretary outed himself as the MP who put his hand on the leg of radio show host Julia Hartley-Brewer some 15 years ago as rumours of sexual harassment involving Parliamentarians sweep through Westminster.
Hartley-Brewer has dismissed the incident, saying she was “not remotely upset or distressed by it” and does not want to become part of a “Westminster witch hunt.”
Theresa May has already ordered an investigation into one of her top team – International Trade Minister Mark Garnier – after he admitted calling his secretary “sugar tits” and asked her to buy two vibrators from a sex shop.
In a briefing with journalists this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said there would no such inquiry into Sir Michael as there had been no complaint.
However, the spokesman repeatedly refused to say whether May had full confidence in Sir Michael to continue as Defence Secretary.
He told reporters that May “has confidence in her Government and her ministers”.
When pressed, the spokesman repeated the line, and said he wouldn’t get into individual cases although it was “right” Sir Michael had apologised.
The incident has come to light as a spreadsheet containing the names of 40 Tory MPs and their supposed indiscretions is being circulated around Parliament.
The document features claims about Cabinet ministers, and ranges from allegations of affairs to “inappropriate” behaviour.