Top general sent home from Afghanistan after ‘drinking champagne with colleagues’

18 March 2024, 13:30 | Updated: 18 March 2024, 13:31

Maj Gen Charlie Herbert
Maj Gen Charlie Herbert. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A senior British general was sent home from Afghanistan after he was caught drinking champagne with his colleagues.

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Major General Charlie Herbert OBE was appointed deputy advisor to the ministry of the interior in Kabul in 2017, putting him in charge of training senior officials in Afghanistan.

He was meant to stay in post for a year, though came back three months ahead of schedule after he was accused of misconduct.

Maj Gen Herbert was alleged to have used inappropriate language and behaviour while at work, which included ‘throwing parties at the British embassy’ and ‘drinking booze with Afghan colleagues’.

The general admitted to The Telegraph that he had “shared a bottle of champagne” with work colleagues and was sent home as a result.

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Other allegations were not upheld, he said.

Herbert went on to work at the defence academy in Swindon, before retiring in 2019.

“After investigation by the British Army, the allegations referred to were found to be unproven and vexatious with the exception of a single one that I shared a bottle of champagne with some work colleagues, in breach of a US rule on the consumption of alcohol,” he told the publication.

“[I] continued to serve with the Army for another 18 months before leaving voluntarily to take up a new role supporting the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Somalia”.

An Army spokesperson said: “Soldiers at all levels of the British Army are held to the highest standards. If any individual fails to meet these standards, appropriate action is taken.”

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