Army minister 'embarrassed' over alleged paratrooper sex video at Colchester's Merville Barracks

  • Armed Forces Minister James Heappey speaks on ITV's Peston.

The armed forces minister said he was "sorry and embarrassed" as he condemned a video appearing to show a group of paratroopers having sex with a woman at a military base.

Reports first published in national newspapers said that the woman - a civilian - had been smuggled on to the base at Merville Barracks in Colchester, where the video is said to have been filmed.

The troops, who are said to be from 16 Air Assault Brigade, are now under military police investigation

Mr Heappey told ITV's Peston on Wednesday: "I am aware of that clip and it is disgraceful and people say 'what? it was consensual' - that doesn't matter. The army is an employer for both men and women.

"We want the nation's brightest and best to serve in our armed forces and we want women serving in the armed forces to know that they're serving in an environment where they are safe, where they are respected.

"Whatever it was that happened in Colchester, it's just not appropriate. It's not the advert for the army that we would want to show right now.

"And I'm just sorry and embarrassed and angry that what happened in Colchester has let down that incredible effort from our armed forces.

"I'm confident that the men and women of our armed forces will continue to excel themselves and I'm confident the chain of command will correct those responsible for what happened in Colchester."

An army spokesperson had previously said: "The army expects the highest standards of behaviour from all their personnel. Anyone not maintaining these standards will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken against them.

"The Royal Military Police are investigating several videos appearing to involve army personnel. It would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations are ongoing."

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