The Ministry of Defence said: âWe can confirm that Brigadier Durcan has been removed from post following an internal investigation into his conduct. âThe decision was taken after he lost the confidence of the High Commission.â No further action is being taken against the officer, who is due to retire shortly.
He previously commanded the Gordon Highlanders and memorably led the regiment, wearing their kilts, in the withdrawal of the British Army garrison from Berlin after the fall of the wall.
He went on to serve as commander of the Armyâs 52nd Lowland Brigade at Edinburgh Castle. He was then made deputy inspector general of the Territorial Army, where he famously admitted to a House of Commons defence committee that the Army had no way of keeping track of tens of thousands of reservist soldiers, who were supposed to be called up in an emergency.
He took up his latest posting in Islamabad last year. For security reasons, his family remained in Britain.
It is believed that during the past few months he developed a close, but non-sexual relationship, with an attractive Pakistani woman, who in turn was linked with the powerful Pakistani defence and intelligence communities.
Initially there were fears that he may have been the target of a âhoney trapâ by Pakistanâs notorious ISI intelligence service. The technique, perfected by the KGB, usually involves the seduction and blackmailing of a victim who is forced to reveal state secrets to a foreign power.
But experts on British-Pakistani relations dismissed the theory. They insisted that Brigadier Durcan was probably the victim of oversensitive British officials who regard good relations with Islamabad as a key element in the war on terror.
Britain has worked hard to forge strong ties with the regime of General Pervez Musharraf, which is at the forefront of the campaign against Osama bin Ladenâs al-Qaeda group. Co-operation with the Pakistani intelligence service is regarded as crucial in defeating Islamic militants operating in Britain, many of whom have family ties to Pakistan.
A colleague said: âAndrew is a wonderful man, much liked and respected. But we have a strategic relationship with Pakistan that is tricky to manage. The Foreign Office was clearly not taking any chances.â
The jock mafia should be able to confirm but I'm pretty sure that was oor shug "disgracing" himself by telling it like it is during the Foot & Mouth crisis without checking with Tony's spin doctors first.
Let's get it right: Chap in photo Brig Hughie Monro younger brother of ex Maj Gen Seymour Monro, both sons of ex MP Lord Monro. Hughie currently Comdt SCHINF and a lovely bloke. One of the best CO 1 QO HLDRS/1 HLDRS ever.
Durcan - ex GORDONS. Much loved by all the TA....(not). Pompous twit probably thought he was still attractive to women...despite being fattest arse in UKLF when he was DCOS TA Res etc.