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British PM May Replaces Defense Minister Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal


U.K. -- Conservative MP Gavin Williamson walks through Downing Street in central London, November 2, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May has named Gavin Williamson as Britain's new defense minister after his predecessor Michael Fallon was forced to resign in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal.

May's office, in a November 2 statement, announced the appointment of Williamson. He previously had been the Conservative Party's chief whip in parliament -- a role in which he was tasked with maintaining voting discipline amongst lawmakers from May's party.

Michael Fallon stepped down as defense minister late November 1 after saying that his behavior had "fallen below the high standards required" of his role.

Earlier in the week, Fallon had apologized for putting his hand on the knee of a journalist in 2002.That apology came amid widespread speculation that other allegations against Fallon were likely to emerge.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa

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