Navy commander removed from post over affair claim

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE first female commander of a frontline warship in the history of the Royal Navy, who left her vessel last month amid claims she had an affair with a shipmate, has been removed from her post.

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 reappointed to another post. Cdr West, 42, took charge of Type 23 frigate HMS Portland in May 2012, but left her vessel in July when claims emerged that she had a relationship with a fellow sailor.

At the time the Royal Navy said it would conduct an inquiry into whether she breached the armed forces’ code of social conduct, which governs personal relationships within the military.