Posted on May 17, 2019
Nick Cooke-Priest is no longer in charge of the HMS Queen Elizabeth because he is believed to have driven the aircraft carrier’s official car on weekends, The Sun said.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “We can confirm Captain Nick Cooke-Priest has been reassigned to a new role. We can only say that management action is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.”
Commodore Cooke-Priest, who joined the Royal Navy in 1990, had only been in command of the 280-metre, 65,000-tonne vessel – described by the Royal Navy as an “awe-inspiring warship” capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft – since last October.
He was never warned that using the Ford Galaxy for personal journeys was in breach of rules, the paper reports. A former officer told The Sun: “Nick adores the Navy and has lost his career by doing what captains have done for decades – using the company car to get home. An innocent mistake has cost the Navy one of its best.”
It is believed major Royal Navy warships and their captains are loaned a car for use on official duties.
An investigation found he had used the Ford as if it was his own, and found him guilty of an “error of judgment”, according to The Sun. He paid for the petrol and there is no allegation of fraud.