A COLCHESTER-BASED para has been slammed for drinking live fish.

Lance Corporal James Steel, of 3 Para, was filmed doing the Facebook drinking craze NekNomination.

The dare saw the soldier, who was a pall bearer at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, drank a pint of lager with two goldfish in it.

L/Cpl Steel, 25, shunned his regimental uniform which he wore at the state ceremony and dressed in a pink ladies’ swimsuit and drew on a moustache to complete the drinking challenge.

The video came to light two days after former Colchester schoolboy Isaac Richardson, 20, died on Sunday after staging his own version of the drinking game and drank more than two pints of wine, vodka, lager and whisky.

Speaking to The Sun the soldier apologised for the incident and said the two goldfish had survived the challenge and were now being cared for by his girlfriend.

He said: “I have an impeccable career as a soldier but I'm also a human being. I don't walk around in my uniform all day.

“I was just doing what the rest of the country is doing.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the department would not comment on the incident.

NekNomination sees people film themselves drinking a pint of booze in one go and nominate two friends to better them at the challenge.

Believed to have started in Australia, the craze has swept across Facebook and has seen a number of incidents involving live animals and sometimes lethal cocktails of alcohol.