Sir Michael Fallon evicted by his past

Sir Michael Fallon has resigned as Defence Secretary because he was aware that his behaviour with women over many years would be regarded as inappropriate if disclosed.

According to one of his friends, he found the stress of waiting for someone to make a complaint debilitating.

And therefore - after a conversation with the Prime Minister this afternoon - he has quit.

He has said he wants to hold himself to the standards expected of the Armed Forces - for whom he is responsible.

But several female Tory MPs say he fell short of the conduct they expect of all men.

Westminster is engulfed in a scandal about inappropriate behaviour. Credit: PA

In going expeditiously he has both helped and harmed the Prime Minister.

Those same women MPs admire her “decisive action”.

But she dare not do more tomorrow than replace him. Rather that than start the more ambitious reshuffle her party wants and expects - because she does not yet know which others of her ministers and MPs will be fatally tainted by allegations of abusive or harassing behaviour.