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Michael Fallon
Official portrait of Sir Michael Fallon crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
15 July 2014 – 1 November 2017
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Succeeded by Gavin Williamson
Minister for Portsmouth
In office
16 January 2014 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Office 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 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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education
In office
24 July 1990 – 14 April 1992
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded by Robert Jackson
Succeeded by Eric Forth
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
10 May 1990 – 22 July 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Stephen Dorrell
Succeeded by Greg Knight
Personal details
Michael Cathel Fallon

(1952-05-14) 14 May 1952 (age 72)
Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
Political party Conservative
Wendy Elisabeth Payne
(m. 1986)
Children 2
Education Epsom College
Alma mater University of St Andrews

Sir Michael Cathel Fallon KCB (born 14 May 1952) is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Defence from 2014 to 2017. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sevenoaks from 1997 to 2019, having previously served as MP for Darlington from 1983 to 1992.

Fallon attended the independent Epsom College and read Classics and Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. After university he joined the Conservative Research Department. Elected for Darlington at the 1983 general election, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Science in 1990. He lost his seat as MP for Darlington at the 1992 general election.

Fallon re-entered Parliament at the 1997 general election as MP for Sevenoaks. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2012, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise from 2012 to 2014, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2013 to 2014 and Minister for Portsmouth in 2014. In the 2014 cabinet reshuffle he was promoted to Secretary of State for Defence. .....

Early life and career

Fallon was born in Perth, Scotland. His father was an Irish-born surgeon, Dr Martin Fallon, who was educated in Dublin and became a high-ranking medical officer in the British Army. Dr Fallon received the OBE for services to the wounded including at Arnhem. Michael Fallon was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School near Dunfermline and at Epsom College, a private 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 Hons) 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. He became research assistant to Baroness Elles in 1979, around the time that she became an MEP.

Parliamentary career

He was selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Darlington in July 1982, and fought the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983, which was held after the Labour MP Ted Fletcher had died. Although Fallon lost to Labour's Ossie O'Brien by 2,412 votes, he defeated O'Brien 77 days later by 3,438 votes in the 1983 general election.

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 Thatcher on the eve of her resignation in a last-ditch and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to persuade her to reconsider her decision.

Junior minister in the Department for Education and Science

Thatcher appointed Fallon 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 headed legislation that led to the local management of schools, which among other changes gave schools a greater degree of financial independence, including control of their own bank accounts and cheque books. He remained in that office until the 1992 general election, when he lost his seat at Darlington to Labour's Alan Milburn by a margin of 2,798 votes.

Return to the House of Commons

Fallon was selected to stand in the safe Conservative seat of Sevenoaks, after the sitting member, Mark Wolfson, decided not to stand again at the 1997 general election. At that election he held Sevenoaks with a substantially reduced majority.

Soon after his return to parliament, Fallon was appointed by William Hague as Opposition Spokesman for Trade and Industry and then as Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but in October 1998 he resigned from the front bench, owing to ill health, remaining on the backbenches until Hague appointed him as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.

From 1999 he was a member of the Treasury Select Committee and chairman of its Sub-Committee (2001–10). He also served on the executive committee of the 1922 Committee between 2005 and 2007.

In September 2012, David Cameron appointed Fallon as Minister for Business and Enterprise and he also became a Privy Councillor.

Fallon has been a director at Tullett Prebon, a leading brokerage firm in the City of London, and was one of the biggest supporters of the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

In January 2014, Fallon was appointed as Minister for Portsmouth. Six months later, on 15 July 2014, Cameron promoted him to the Cabinet, as Secretary of State for Defence.

Secretary of State for Defence (2014–2017)

IMSC Future-of-NATO Zwez 5F3A1329
Fallon during the Munich Security Conference in 2016
SD meets with UK's Secretary of State for Defence 170707-D-SV709-176 (35392759950)
Fallon with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, July 2017
Lister, Fallon and Caldwell
Fallon (centre) with Vice-Admiral Sir Simon Lister (left) and Admiral James F. Caldwell Jr. in August 2017

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 – including camps for internally displaced people, weddings, schools, hospitals, religious centers, vehicles and markets – 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.

In December 2016, Fallon admitted that UK-supplied internationally banned cluster munitions had been used in Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen.

In April 2017, Fallon confirmed that the UK would use its nuclear weapons in a "pre-emptive initial strike" in "the most extreme circumstances" on BBC Radio's Today programme.

In 2017, Fallon warned that Russia's Zapad 2017 exercise in Belarus and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast was "designed to provoke us". Fallon falsely claimed that number of Russian troops taking part in exercise could reach 100,000.

European Union

In an interview in The Daily Telegraph in 2016, before the European Union (EU) membership referendum, Fallon described himself as Eurosceptic and critical of many aspects of the EU, but said that he wanted Britain to remain in the EU, in the face of multiple threats from Russia's president Vladimir Putin, crime, and international terrorism.

Career outside Parliament

Between 1992 and 1997, Fallon set up a chain of children's nurseries called Just Learning with funding from the British Dragons' Den member Duncan Bannatyne, becoming chief executive.

Personal life

Fallon has been married to Wendy Elisabeth Payne, a HR professional, since 27 September 1986; the couple have two sons. The family lives in Sundridge, Kent.


Fallon was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) for political and public service as part of the Resignation Honours of the outgoing prime minister David Cameron.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael Fallon para niños

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