Portsmouth-based Captain of £3.2bn Royal Navy carrier HMS Prince of Wales suspended over claims he invited lone female sailors into quarters for ‘mentoring’

THE captain of the Royal Navy’s £3.2bn carrier HMS Prince of Wales has reportedly been suspended over claims he invited lone female sailors into his personal quarters for ‘mentoring’.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 10:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th August 2022, 9:44 am

Portsmouth-based Captain Steve Higham is being investigate amid complaints that junior servicewomen were left feeling uncomfortable over the one-on-one sessions.

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The allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ relate to his nine-month stint in command of HMS Prince of Wales, The Sun newspaper reports.

Pictured:Captain Steve Higham on board of HMS Prince of Wales Picture: Habibur Rahman

Capt Higham, who served as PM Boris Johnson’s military adviser, commanded the ship on its maiden voyage after leaving No 10 with a lockdown-busting farewell in December 2020.

He gave up command on May 24, as planned, and was in line for the fourth most senior job in the admiralty.

He was due to jump two ranks to Rear Admiral and become assistant chief of the naval staff, The Sun said.

But his promotion was put on hold amid the investigation and has been on ‘directed leave’ since May, the paper reports.

Members of the public watch the HMS Prince of Wales arriving back at Portsmouth Naval Base. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

A navy source told The Sun: ‘There are suggestions he invited a number of female sailors into his cabin alone and this made them uncomfortable.

‘He says the meetings were totally above board, that he was mentoring them and offering career development, but it has raised concerns.’

The Royal Navy said they are investigating.

HMS Prince of Wales is the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy, being fractionally longer and heavy that her old sister, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The ship weighs in at just over 65,000 tonnes and is longer than the Spinnaker Tower is tall.