Boris Johnson has personally urged US President Donald Trump to “reconsider” granting immunity to an American woman suspected of being involved in the death of teenager Harry Dunn in central England.
Downing Street confirmed the prime minister broached the subject in a telephone conversation with the Trump on Wednesday, asking for British police to be allowed to pursue the young motorcyclist’s death.
It comes after the Dunn family said a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the death of their son felt like a “publicity stunt”.
They have since revealed they plan to start civil action against the suspect in the case.
Harry, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27.
The suspect, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash.
Johnson has said he hoped the diplomat’s wife would choose to return to Britain to engage with investigators.
"I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose."@BorisJohnson offers his condolences to Harry Dunn's family, saying he hopes the case gets "resolved very shortly."
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 7, 2019
Speaking at the White House, Trump told reporters: “It was a terrible accident. We’re going to speak to her and we’re going to see the person driving the car, the wife of the diplomat, we’re going to speak to her and see what we can come up with so that there can be some healing.”
The car was thought to have been driving on the wrong side of the road after leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a military base used by the US Air Force.
Downing Street says Trump was “fully aware of the case” and was “deeply saddened” after hearing of it.
“The two leaders discussed the tragic death of Harry Dunn,” a spokesman said.
“The prime minister urged the president to reconsider the US position so the individual involved can return to the UK, co-operate with police and allow Harry’s family to receive justice.
“The President said he was fully aware of the case and deeply saddened by what has happened, and he expressed his condolences to Harry’s parents.
“The leaders agreed to work together to find a way forward as soon as possible.”
Raab met Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn on Wednesday afternoon after having talks with US Ambassador Woody Johnson on Tuesday.
Speaking after the meeting, Harry’s mother told reporters she felt “let down by both governments” and they were “no further forward than where we were this time last week”.
“Part of me is feeling like it was just a publicity stunt on the UK Government side to show they are trying to help,” she said.
‘She just need to come back and own up to what she’s done and not hide away from it’
Harry Dunn’s grief-stricken parents on the hope that the wife of a US diplomat, Anne Sacoolas, will return to the UK to face charges for her role in the death of their son pic.twitter.com/1rt6mif9RV
— This Morning (@thismorning) October 8, 2019
Speaking after the meeting, Raab said he shared the “frustration” felt by the family and vowed to continue to “press the US authorities” into co-operating with the UK investigation.
The family’s lawyer and spokesman Radd Seiger said the family would be willing to talk with Trump about the issue and confirmed they plan to travel to the US.
He said they were engaging lawyers to take a civil case against Sacoolas in the US.