UK & World News

  • 8 August 2014, 7:03

Navy Cdr Removed From Post Over 'Affair'

The first female commander of a frontline warship has been removed from her post following claims she had an affair with a shipmate.

A spokesman for the Royal Navy confirmed Commander Sarah West had been "removed from command", but said she would remain in the service and be re-appointed to another post.

The 42-year-old took charge of HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, in May 2012, but left the vessel last month when the claims emerged.

In a statement a spokesman said no details would be given of the inquiry - which looked at whether she breached the armed forces' code of social conduct, which governs personal relationships within the military.

"This is an internal matter between the individual and her senior officers and we will not give further details of the removal.

"Commander West will continue to serve in the Royal Navy and she will be reappointed to a post where her skills and experience can be used to best effect."

The spokesman added that Cdr West's second-in-command has taken over the running of the ship.

Cdr West told the Daily Mirror newspaper earlier this year that work commitments made it difficult to have a relationship.

She said: "I'm really proud to be the first woman but I'm not reinventing the wheel. Lots of women in the services have challenging roles.

"It's just that I happen to be newsworthy at the moment. There are drawbacks though.

"Years at sea probably explains why I'm single. But every person in the military makes sacrifices."

HMS Portland, which has a crew of 185, has been on a seven-month deployment around the coasts of Europe, Africa, and South and North America.

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