Harry Dunn injustice 'only just' raised with US government by foreign secretary, says prime minister

Official update after question by South Northamptonshire MP welcomed by teen's family

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:17 pm

The foreign secretary has raised Harry Dunn's injustice with the new United States government, the prime minister said today (Wednesday, March 3).

Boris Johnson said Dominic Raab 'only just' spoke to Secretary of State Tony Blinken about the quest to get justice for the teenager following a question from South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom.

Harry's family welcomed the comments but insisted that getting Anne Sacoolas back to the UK to face the courts remains 'the only way forward'.

Harry Dunn

The PM said: "My right honourable friend is completely right to continue to raise the case of Harry Dunn, and we sympathise deeply with his family.

"It is a case that we continue to raise with the highest level, and I know that my right honourable friend the foreign secretary has only just raised it with Tony Blinken, the US secretary of state."

Harry, 19, died after a head-on crash between his motorcycle and a car being driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas near Croughton in 2019.

The American woman claimed diplomatic immunity the next day using a loophole in the waiver agreement for US service personnel at RAF Croughton as her husband was working there on behalf of the US embassy.

Three weeks later she and her family returned to the US, sparking a campaign by the teen's parents to get her to return, which has received attention from around the world.

The US government rejected an extradition request from the Home Office in January last year after Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Harry's family hoped the change of administration in the States after Joe Biden's election victory would give them a chance to reconsider, especially as the new president has experience of losing loved ones in car crashes.

But the US State Department has repeated that the extradition rejection decision is final and no statement have been made by President Biden, despite emotional pleas from the family.

Mrs Leadsom asked Mr Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions: "My right honourable friend has taken a strong personal interest in the tragic story of my constituent, Harry Dunn.

"So will he please continue to do everything in his power to reassure Tim and Charlotte, Harry’s parents, and all their family that he will try to persuade President Biden to deliver justice for Harry?"

Harry's family is currently suing Sacoolas for damages in the US courts, which sparked a fresh response from the American, saying she wants to 'find a path towards resolution', including mediation.

The family's spokesman, Radd Seiger, told this newspaper: "Harry’s family were really pleased to see that Andrea Leadsom raised Harry again in the House of Commons today and very grateful to her and the prime minister for his robust response.

"Justice for Harry has to be done and be seen to be done. There is no other way forward and we will continue to have dialogue to ensure that that is what happens."