Speculation as ex-SAS chief quits

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The Independent Online

A former head of the SAS has quit the armed forces amid speculation that he was unhappy with the resources provided to troops by the Ministry of Defence, it emerged last night.

In a statement, Brigadier Ed Butler said that he was resigning his commission in order to spend more time with his family and take up opportunities in the commercial sector. It is understood that he was recently passed over for the post of director of special forces.

Paying tribute to the servicemen and women he fought with, Brig Butler said that they operated "within the well-known constraints and restraints", leading to speculation that his departure was motivated by concern over troops' equipment and conditions.

But sources within the Ministry of Defence insisted that Brig Butler did not intend his comments to be seen as a "protest vote".

Brig Butler led British troops in Afghanistan as commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade.