HMS Queen Elizabeth: Royal Navy under fire for ‘disgusting’ decision to sack captain Nick Cooke-Priest after ‘official car misuse’

CRITICISM has been hurled at the Royal Navy after its decision to relieve HMS Queen Elizabeth’s captain of his duties after he allegedly misused the ship’s official car.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 12:39 pm
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest with the Prince of Wales. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Captain Nick Cooke-Priest had taken the aircraft carrier’s Ford Galaxy out on weekends, contravening rules that state it is for work use only, according to The Sun. 

A spokesman for the Royal Navy addressed the allegations and confirmed Capt Cooke-Priest has been ‘reassigned to a new role’ and ‘management action is ongoing’. 

The force, alongside Defence Secretary and Portsmouth North MP, Penny Mordaunt, have refused to speak further. 

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Scores of comments have been made on social media slamming the Royal Navy’s decision – with the move branded ‘totally embarrassing’ and ‘ludicrous’. 

One anonymous former officer told The Sun that Capt Cooke-Priest made an ‘innocent mistake’  and had ‘lost his career by doing what captains have done for decades’. 

On Twitter, Hampshire author Steve Clark said: ‘I am appalled by the way @NickCP_RN has been treated by the @RoyalNavy.’ 

Meanwhile the pro-Royal Navy online campaign group, Navy Lookout, said: ‘Sounds like harsh punishment for minor misjudgement but senior officers must be treated the same as juniors.’ 

Captain Nick Cooke-Priest with the Prince of Wales. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

It has been reported HMS Queen Elizabeth will now be led by Commodore Steve Moorhouse, who in January had been appointed the captain of the £3.1bn vessel’s sister ship HMS Prince of Wales. 

News of his predecessor’s reassignment has drawn intense discussion among readers of The News. 

Alma Cogan said: ‘Crazy to sack him! He probably does a Brilliant Job!’ 

Meanwhile Adam Alice Cooper added: ‘Disgusting decision, he is a great boss and made a tiny mistake, a fair and firm man and was Navy through and through.’ 

HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth Naval Base on Monday, April 1 and heading up to Rosyth, Scotland, for dry-dock maintenance. Picture: Sarah Standing (010419-4451)

Others said the Royal Navy made the right decision by enforcing its guidelines. 

Kim Peskett said: ‘Extreme but if he expects staff to follow rules he should lead by example.’ 

Sarah Allen Johnson added: ‘He'd been in the Navy long enough to know the rules so yes good decision.’

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