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Royal Navy commander Sarah West accused of affair

The first female Royal Navy commander of a major warship has left her vessel amid claims of an affair with a shipmate.

Commander Sarah West (42) took charge of Type 23 frigate HMS Portland in May 2012.

It is understood she has left the ship while the Navy carries out an investigation into the claims. Her second-in-command has taken over the running of the vessel, but Cdr West is still the Commanding Officer.

The Navy inquiry will consider if she breached the armed forces' code of social conduct, which governs personal relationships within the military.

Possible punishments for not meeting the high standards set out include a formal warning, reassignment and even termination of service.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "We are aware of an allegation of a breach of the code of social conduct on board HMS Portland, which we are treating seriously."

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