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Sacked captain still in command despite being flown off aircraft carrier | UK News



The captain of the UK’s aircraft carrier has been dramatically flown off the ship following his sacking last week.

Nick Cooke-Priest was helicoptered off HMS Queen Elizabeth “as a precautionary measure”, according to an official Royal Navy statement.

It said: “In light of the ongoing investigation, as a precautionary measure to protect both the individual and the Ship’s Company the Royal Navy has decided that Captain Nick Cooke-Priest will not be at sea in HMS Queen Elizabeth.”

Captain Nick Cooke-Priest and Prince Charles
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest was awarded an OBE in 2016

Bizarrely though, he remains in official command of the ship until a successor takes over next week.

Captain Cooke-Priest was relieved of his command when it was discovered he used a company-provided vehicle for personal use at weekends.

Captains of Royal Navy warships are loaned cars for official use, but Cooke-Priest was found to be using outside of naval duties.

Sky News has been told the subsequent investigation has found he was warned on a number of occasions and according to one source, the use of the Ford Galaxy car was “extensive”.

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Cooke-Priest remains in the Royal Navy and has been moved sideways to a new role, but his prospects of further promotion are said to be over.

He is an experienced officer and said to be one of the best from his generation. Cooke-Priest joined the Royal Navy in 1990 and initially specialised as a Lynx helicopter pilot.

In 2009 he was promoted to Commander, escorting the Queen during a royal tour on HMS Kent before later taking charge of HMS Iron Duke, and HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flag Ship.

In 2016 he was awarded an OBE.

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