New Forest East


[Dr Julian Lewis rose –

Mr Mark Francois rose –

Mr Speaker: Two notable parliamentary celebrities have risen to their feet: the Chairman of the Select Committee on Defence and a former Minister for the Armed Forces. It is very awkward – [Interruption.] No, you are too modest, Dr Lewis; I call Dr Julian Lewis.]

Dr Lewis: As a naval reservist herself, will the Secretary of State personally look into the removal of the captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, apparently on the grounds of what might have been a misunderstanding about the use of a car supplied by the Ministry of Defence? If we lose talented people like this, surely it is not only unjust but a waste of all the investment made in someone’s 29-year unblemished career in the Royal Navy.

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt): I can assure my right hon. Friend that I am fully aware of the situation and that I understand his concern when we have invested in an individual and ​they are unable to carry out the tasks for which they have trained. The officer remains within the Royal Navy and it is a matter for the Royal Navy to deal with, which it is doing.]