Female officer will lead probe into abuse scandal in Navy’s submarine division
- A female officer will lead investigation into bullying in the Submarine Service
- Follows shocking revelations of rape, violence and harassments in the navy
- Sophie Brook said she endured ‘constant sexual bullying’ on submarines
A female officer is to lead the official investigation into the Daily Mail’s exposé of bullying and sexual harassment of women in the Submarine Service.
The senior military figure, who has not yet been identified, and her team will speak to the brave whistleblower who spoke out about her ordeal, a defence minister revealed yesterday.
However Andrew Murrison refused demands by MPs for allegations against service personnel to be dealt with in civilian courts rather than military tribunals.
His comments came as the scandal revealed by the Mail at the weekend was raised in the Commons for the first time.
A female officer is to lead the official investigation into the Daily Mail’s exposé of bullying and sexual harassment of women in the Submarine Service (file picture of British submarine)
Responding to an Urgent Question on the shocking revelations of rape, violence and harassment on Royal Navy vessels, Mr Murrison told MPs: ‘I was concerned by the recent reports in the media.
‘Allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual assault in the Submarine Service are and will be taken extremely seriously.
‘Any activity which falls short of the highest standards of the Royal Navy is totally unacceptable and not a true reflection of what life should be.’
He said a formal probe into the claims made by Sophie Brook, who told this paper how she endured a ‘constant campaign of sexual bullying’ on submarines, had commenced on October 24, after the Mail contacted the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Murrison, who has two daughters in the Armed Forces, went on: ‘This independent investigating team, being led by a senior female officer, will thoroughly examine the allegations and report back very soon.
‘It is understood the named individual has agreed to meet the investigating team to provide her account.
Andrew Murrison refused demands by MPs for allegations against service personnel to be dealt with in civilian courts rather than military tribunals
‘While this investigation will review specific allegations, defence will also review the culture of the submarine community and report to ministers in due course.’
He insisted: ‘Anyone who is found culpable will be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their rank and their status.’
But the minister rejected calls to have sexual assault cases against submariners tried in the civilian justice system.
Mr Murrison said: ‘The judgment has been made that the status quo is probably appropriate but with the design of a joint protocol between civilian service to ensure that practice is the same.’
Source: Read Full Article