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Britain’s Defense Secretary Resigns After Improper Behavior

LONDON — Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has resigned after allegations emerged about inappropriate sexual behavior, the British government said.

Fallon said in a letter Wednesday to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May that he may have "fallen short of the high standards" expected of the military.

A newspaper reported earlier that Fallon had repeatedly touched a journalist's knee.

U.K. Defense Secretary Resigns Over Allegations of Improper Behavior 1:11

It is one of a growing number of allegations about inappropriate behavior by British politicians and parliamentary staff.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had ordered an investigation into claims one of her senior deputies made inappropriate advances to a Conservative activist, as allegations spread of sexual harassment and abuse in British politics.

Related: Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Brett Ratner Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Writer and academic Kate Maltby says Cabinet minister Damian Green "fleetingly" touched her knee in 2015 and later sent her a "suggestive" text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in a newspaper.

Image: Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon
Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon leaves 10 Downing Street after the weekly meeting of the cabinet in central London on Oct. 31. Tolga Akmen / AFP - Getty Images

Maltby wrote in the Times of London newspaper that Green "offered me career advice and in the same breath made it clear he was sexually interested."

Green, Britain's de facto deputy prime minister, denied making sexual advances.

Meanwhile, an opposition Labour Party activist says the party discouraged her from reporting her rape at a Labour conference in 2011, when she was 19. Bex Bailey said a party official told her "that if I did, it might damage me."

The party said it was investigating.