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Navy commander removed from post over affair claim

Sarah West, left, in Shoreham with HMS Shoreham sponsor Lady Perowne and the then Adur Council chairman, Brian Boggis S48506H11

Sarah West, left, in Shoreham with HMS Shoreham sponsor Lady Perowne and the then Adur Council chairman, Brian Boggis S48506H11

THE first female commander of a frontline warship in the history of the Royal Navy has been removed from her post.

Sarah West, former captain of HMS Shoreham, had to leave the frigate HMS Portland last month amid claims she had an affair with a male shipmate.

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.

The code prohibits personnel from having relationships with subordinates if they compromise ‘operational effectiveness’.

Cdr West was captain of the minesweeper HMS Shoreham when the vessel was given the freedom of the town in March 2011.

 

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