Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth Captain 'Reassigned' From Carrier Role

Captain Nick Cooke-Priest will be replaced by Captain Steve Moorhouse.

The captain of the largest and most powerful ship ever built for the Royal Navy has been "reassigned to a new role".

Captain Nick Cooke-Priest will remain in command of HMS Queen Elizabeth until he is succeeded by Captain Steve Moorhouse as Commanding Officer.

Capt Moorhouse is currently captain of HMS Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth's sister ship.

Confirmation that Capt Nick Cooke-Priest is being reassigned follows newspaper reports that he had been removed from his post after a dispute over the use of HMS Queen Elizabeth's official car.

The Royal Navy has stressed that Capt Cooke-Priest is being reassigned and has not been sacked.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "We can confirm Captain Nick Cooke-Priest has been reassigned to a new role.

"We can only say that management action is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further."

HMS Queen Elizabeth visits New York
HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York (Picture: MOD).

It is believed major Royal Navy warships and their captains are loaned a car for use on official duties.

Capt Cooke-Priest had been in charge of the aircraft carrier since last October, taking over while the ship was in New York.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1990 and specialised as a Lynx helicopter observer.

A decade of flying appointments followed, primarily at sea, and included an instructional tour and as Flight Commander of HMS Exeter.

He was promoted to Commander in 2009 and that year in HMS Kent escorted the Queen during a royal tour.

HMS Queen Elizabeth homecoming
HMS Queen Elizabeth's homecoming in December 2018 after a four-month deployment to the USA.

On HMS Iron Duke, Capt Cooke-Priest was deployed to the Arabian Gulf and in 2011 to Libya as part of Operation Ellamy.

Assuming command of HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flag Ship, in January 2015 and leading the UK's contribution to the Gallipoli centenary commemorations in the same year are other highlights of his successful career.

He was awarded an OBE in 2016.