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Mon, 6 July 2020

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Dominic Raab 'adding insult to injury' as he admits UK knew Harry Dunn crash suspect would leave country

Dominic Raab 'adding insult to injury' as he admits UK knew Harry Dunn crash suspect would leave country
3 min read

Dominic Raab has sparked anger from the family of Harry Dunn after he admitted that British officials knew the suspect in a crash which left the teenager dead would be leaving the UK.

Mr Dunn, 19, died in August following a collision with a car owned by US citizen Anne Sacoolas outside the RAF Croughton base.

But Mr Raab told the Commons that the US Embassy had informed his office it "would not waive immunity" and that Ms Sacoolas "would be leaving the country imminently" two days before she did so.

“We duly and immediately objected in clear and strong terms and we have done ever since," the Foreign Secretary said.

That prompted questioning from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who asked why Northamptonshire Police had been asked to delay informing Mr Dunn's family of Ms Sacoolas's exit from the UK.

She said: "Why did they not have the right to be told immediately?"

Mr Raab replied: "It was one or two days. The reason we asked for a little bit of time – and this was a request not made by me, I wasn’t aware of it, but by my officials – was to make sure we’d be very clear on what the next course of action would be."

And the Foreign Secretary said of Mr Dunn's family: "We will continue to fight for justice for them. I have already commissioned a review of the immunity arrangements for US personnel and their families at Croughton.

"As this case has demonstrated, I do not believe the current arrangements are right and the review will look at how we can make sure that the arrangements at Croughton cannot be used in this way again."

But Mr Dunn's parents said the Commons statement had only "added insult to injury".

A spokesperson for the family told the Press Association: "The family just has absolutely no confidence in Dominic Raab. He said we didn’t go to him or his department for help while we were in the United States – that’s because he is the last person we would go to for help after the meeting we had with him."

He added: "The family are angry tonight. They are probably angrier now than they have been at any stage in this entire process.

"Dominic Raab said the ball is in Northamptonshire police’s court for keeping us up to date with the investigation. The chief constable has told us he can’t answer the questions we had for him. Somebody is lying and the family are sick of it."

The row came as The Sun reported that police investigating the crash death are set to travel to the United States to question Ms Sacoolas.

Downing Street last week denied that Boris Johnson personally asked Donald Trump to organise a controversial meeting between Ms Sacoolas - the wife of a US diplomat - and Mr Dunn's family.

"The PM and the president spoke last Wednesday and the PM asked the president to do all he could to resolve the issue," a Number 10 spokesperson said.

"During the conversation, the president raised a possibility of a meeting with Anne Sacoolas at the White House, but at that stage we weren’t aware of any plans for the family to go [to the US], so it wasn’t discussed further."

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