'Inspirational' colonel to quit British army


A senior British army officer who was widely praised for a rousing speech made on the eve of theIraq war, has quit the army, the Mail on Sundayreported.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Collins fears the service faces the danger of becoming under-funded and is weighed down by bureaucracy and political correctness, the paper said.

Lt Col Collins (43), former commanding officer of the 1st Battalion,the Royal Irish Regiment, made world headlines for a speech inwhich he exhorted his troops to be ferocious in battle butmagnanimous in victory.

A copy of the speech was reportedly put on the wall of USPresident George Bush's office and Britain's heir to thethrone Prince Charles wrote to him praising his "stirring,civilised and humane" words.

Collins, who was later cleared of war crimes in Iraq, washonoured with an OBE, the Order of the British Empire, lastOctober.

But the Mail on Sundaysaid he resigned last Monday andexpects to be released from service in August, a move it saidwould be deeply embarrassing to the army.