Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon has got into hot water weeks into his ministerial job after allegedly calling a Daily Telegraph journalist a "slut".

Columnist Bryony Gordon wrote last week about an incident in 2010 when a Tory MP approached her in a "grotty bar in Westminster".

The new defence minister has denied ever using the word "slut" but the furore is continuing in various blogs and newspapers throughout the country.

Bryony Gordon, 32, first mentioned the issue on July 22 in her Daily Telegraph column.

She said: "Here’s your starter for 10: which member of David Cameron’s new "female-friendly" cabinet came up to me at a party four years ago and called me a word I hope he never uses in Parliament?

"He wittered on about the select committees he worked on that my colleague had covered. 

"And then he said: ‘If you work at the Telegraph, do you know that slut who writes that Single Girl About Town column at the back of the magazine? What’s her name? Bryony Gordon?’

"The room seemed to fall silent.

"’Yes,’ I managed to respond. ‘I know her very well, because that slut is me.’"

A newspaper later suggested Fallon was the culprit and it was then rumoured he had used a different word, "slattern". 

On July 29 Ms Gordon wrote a response which said: "On Sunday, a newspaper "exposed" Michael Fallon as the cabinet minister who referred to me as a "slut".

"Fallon’s people say that he actually called me a "slattern", pointing out that this was the word I used when writing about the incident in my column four years ago. 

"I’m not sure that slattern is entirely complimentary either, but I do know the reason we printed that word originally was because at the time it was felt the word "slut" was too offensive."

Mr Fallon denies using the word "slut" but does remember meeting the journalist.

He said: "I did have a conversation at this party some four years ago. I’m confident I didn’t use such a word."

Ms Gordon is a columnist and feature writer for the Daily Telegraph and recently published the book, The Wrong Knickers.