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Last Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005, 13:03 GMT
Marine bully video 'not typical'
Pakistan quake
The deployed Royal Marines will help earthquake survivors
A video alleging bullying of Royal Marine recruits "was not typical of what goes on", a minister has said.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram was speaking at RMB Chivenor in Devon, where he met troops flying out to help victims of the Pakistan earthquake.

Among the troops which left on Monday were members of 42 Commando Royal Marines from Bickleigh, near Plymouth.

Allegations of bullying during recruit initiation at Bickleigh emerged in a video obtained by a Sunday newspaper.

We have got to turn out the highly professional soldiers
Adam Ingram, Armed Forces Minister

Pictures in the News of the World appeared to show two naked men being forced to fight each other as part of an initiation ceremony.

Mr Ingram said he became aware of the alleged events at Bickleigh 10 days ago and that an immediate investigation was launched.

He said: "I am very constrained in what I can say by the criminal investigation which is under way."

But he added: "We take a very strong view and we have to investigate these matters.

"We have a zero-tolerance to any such activity within the armed forces overall."

He said he had seen the video and media reports and went on: "This is not typical of what goes on.

Marines fighting in footage obtained by the News of the World
The News of the World video has resulted in a criminal inquiry
"We are not perfect, there is no organisation in this country which is perfect.

"But we do all we can to reach that very high level to ensure we do not get repetitions of some of the allegations which have been made in the past."

The minister said the British Armed Forces were a "force for good, and will continue to be".

He said: "At the end of the day, we have got to turn out the highly professional soldiers, Royal Marines and others who do the kind of work we are witnessing today."

The troops from 42 Commando are leaving for Pakistan along with 86 troops from the 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers.

They will help victims of the earthquake in Pakistan as they struggle to cope with the harsh winter conditions.

Profile: Royal Marines
27 Nov 05 |  UK

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