Royal Navy sack 'exceptional and popular' captain because he 'drove official car on weekends'

Former military commanders have criticised the Royal Navy's decision to sack the captain of the UK's most famous aircraft carrier for 'using his official car at weekends'.   

Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest, a married father-of-three, had been the captain of the £3 billion HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, also known as 'Big Lizzie', since October.

The Royal Navy confirmed last night that the 50-year-old had been fired, after driving the ship's Ford Galaxy 'as if it was his own'. 

Admiral Alan West, former First Sea Lord and security adviser to Gordon Brown, said: 'Nick Cooke-Priest is a very good officer and highly competent and nice officer and I would be surprised he has done anything dishonest but I don't know the details so I cannot comment further.' 

Cooke-Priest had taken over command of the ship in October and prior to that he had been working with the Ministry of Defence in the Corporate Strategy Group, before joining the Standing Joint Force Headquarters as the assistant chief of staff of operations, during which the HQ achieved Full Operational Capability.

This is while insiders claimed he was never warned that the car was for official duties only, and he is said to be 'gutted' after discovering he had breached the rules by making personal journeys in the Galaxy.

A retired commanding officer of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier said that without knowing the terms of the lease of the vehicle to Cdre Cooke-Priest, he felt the decision to remove him from his position was an ove....

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