06:36 GMT +322 October 2019
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    The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's largest warship, anchors near the Lower New York Bay, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in New York

    Captain of Largest UK Warship Sacked for Alleged Misuse of Official Car

    © AFP 2019 / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
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    The Royal Navy hasn't specified the reason for the captain's reassignment, however, according to the Daily Mail, the skipper was sacked after an investigation revealed he had used the ship's official car, a Ford Galaxy minivan, for personal trips on the weekends.

    Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest, captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest British aircraft carrier, will sail the ship to Portsmouth after being relieved of command for reportedly borrowing the ship's official minivan for family trips.

    "Cdre Cook Priest has not yet been recalled, he has simply not yet been reassigned and will remain in command until he is", a Navy spokesman said.

    READ MORE: UK Royal Navy Leads Its LARGEST Task Force in Europe in Decades

    Officials also confirmed there was no allegation of fraud, adding that the skipper, who had assumed command in October 2018, always paid for his own petrol.

    In the meantime, the Queen Elizabeth, which was commissioned in December 2017, is still sailing without an air wing, as the Royal Navy had decided to purchase the most expensive version of F-35 fighters, made by Lockheed Martin, with a base price of at least $115 million per aircraft.

    The Royal Navy is supposed to have the first 48 American stealth jets, at an estimated cost of £9.1 billion ($11.6 billion), with training and maintenance, by 2025. At least 24 of those fighters will eventually be sent to Queen Elizabeth, but until then the aircraft carrier won't be hosting actual military planes.

    Commenting on the issue, US Marine Corps Lieutenant-General Steven Rudder noted earlier in May that a USMC fighter squadron was preparing to deploy aboard the Royal Navy carrier sometime in 2021.


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