Six soldiers arrested over sex assault claims

‘There is no place for these kind of actions in the military,’ defence secretary says

Zamira Rahim
Saturday 06 April 2019 13:15 BST
General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith gives statement to the British Army after sexual assault arrests

Six members of the British army in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a teenage, female soldier.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson is said to be “appalled” by the claims and is launching a review of behaviour across the armed forces.

“There is no place for these kind of actions in the military and, if true, those involved must face the full force of the law,” he said in a statement.

Mark Carleton-Smith, the chief of the army's general staff, also condemned the suspected behaviour.

Calling it "downright unacceptable", he said in a statement it stood "in stark contrast with everything the British army represents".

General Sir Carleton-Smith added that the reports demonstrated “an indiscipline that is wildly at odds with the values and standards that represent the fabric of not just our army, but the nation’s army.”

“This is the most vile and rancid incident,” an army source told The Sun, which originally broke the story. “No one has ever heard of anything so sickening.”

The armed forces faced heavy criticism earlier this week when a video emerged showing soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, shooting at an image of Jeremy Corbyn during target practice.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

A 25-second video clip showed at least four servicemen firing at the Labour leader’s photograph during shooting practice at a base in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into the conduct of the soldiers involved.

Additional reporting by agencies

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in