Former captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘quits’ Navy after car use reprimand

Nick Cooke-Priest was stripped of command of the aircraft carrier for using an official vehicle for personal journeys.

HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth

The former commanding officer of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is understood to have resigned after he was removed from post for misuse of an official car.

Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest was stripped of the command of the carrier in May after Navy bosses launched an investigation into his alleged use of the Ford Galaxy for personal journeys in breach of the service’s rules.

Mr Cooke-Priest, who joined the Royal Navy in 1990, had only been in command of the 280-metre vessel, described by the Royal Navy as an “awe-inspiring warship” capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft, since last October.

Nick Cooke-Priest sacking
Captain Nick Cooke-Priest had commanded HMS Queen Elizabeth (PA)

It is understood he handed in his notice last week.

A friend told The Sun: “Nick has enjoyed an outstandingly, diverse career in the Royal Navy but recent events have forced him to take stock.

“It’s time to take this experience into a second career.”

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “We do not comment on personnel matters, we can only confirm that management action regarding Cdre Nick Cooke-Priest has been completed and the matter is resolved.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sea trials
HMS Queen Elizabeth is based in Portsmouth (Ben Mitchell/PA)

“Any further decisions are a matter for the individual.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently conducting sea trials and is set to deploy to the east coast of the USA later this year.

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