Navy chiefs sent to probe sub scandal
Military chiefs have been sent to a nuclear submarine to deal with claims there was an “inappropriate relationship“between two naval crew.
The captain of the vessel, based at Faslane, has been relieved of his duties as the allegations are probed.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman would not confirm the relationship between a male and female officer but confirmed that an investigation is under way, adding: “It would be inappropriate to say anything further.”
A senior ministry source added that the incident was a “duty of care” issue.
The identity of the captain of the submarine is known but the decision has been taken not to disclose it.
It is believed he could be stripped of his command if the allegations are proven to be true.
When asked to comment on the allegations, he replied: “I’ve not got anything to say at the moment.”
There is no suggestion the female officer has been suspended or committed any wrongdoing.
Intimate relationships of any kind on a warship or a submarine are against Royal Navy rules.
Senior naval officers have been sent to the vessel in international waters to sort out the incident.
Other crew were ordered to delete their social media accounts in a bid to stop information about the allegations being leaked.
The captain, along with his second in command, are the only officers on board the sub with access to a grey safe which contains a “letter of last resort”. The letter is from the PM and contains guidance and orders to be followed should the UK be attacked with nuclear weapons.
In 2014 Sarah West, the Navy’s first female warship captain, was released from her command of frigate HMS Portland over an alleged affair with a married officer.
Both parties denied the claims during the investigation.
Figures released by the MoD in January revealed 57 serving submarine crew members faced claims of disobeying orders, assault, drink, drug and sex offences while with the nuclear fleet within a year.
Among them was an able rating first class who was charged with sexual offences.
Women were banned from serving on submarines until the rules changed in 2011. Three years later three female lieutenants became the first to join.
Home port The submarine is based at Faslane