Harry Dunn latest: Emily Thornberry says UK is 'scared of upsetting Donald Trump' over teen's death

Ellena Cruse
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry speaking to the media after meeting with Harry Dunn's family at Portcullis House in London: PA

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has called for an urgent parliamentary inquiry into the government’s handling of the Harry Dunn case and said the UK should not be scared of upsetting Donald Trump.

The Labour MP met Mr Dunn’s family and their spokesman Radd Seiger in her Westminster office on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Dunn, 19, was killed in a car crash outside a military base in Northampton in August. After the crash, suspect Anne Sacoolas fled to the US, claiming diplomatic immunity.

After meeting Mr Dunn's family, Ms Thornberry said: “My worry is that over the last three years we (the UK Government) have been pulling our punches with the current (American) administration, it’s as though we’re worried and scared of upsetting Donald Trump. I just think that’s the wrong approach.

“There are times when you just have to stand up for British citizens.

“For Heaven’s sake, this family have just lost their teenage boy – if we are not going to stand up for parents like this, what are we about these days?”

Harry Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision near RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire in August. (PA)

She accused the Foreign Office of “running around like headless chickens” in the aftermath of the fatal crash.

Ms Thornberry added: "It's like bypassing your humanity, it's not thinking about the grieving family who have lost a teenage boy.

"It's not putting them at the forefront of your mind. It's putting something else, and it's not good - that's not how it should be."

The Foreign Office has been contacted for comment.

Harry Dunn's family met Emily Thornberry today in London (PA)

Family spokesman Mr Seiger agreed with Ms Thornberry’s suspicions over the way the incident was handled by the Foreign Office, the police and the US authorities.

He said: “We smelt a rat from the start... This family feel as though they haven’t been supported.

“To come back today to London and have that supportive arm around the shoulder, it just feels really, really wonderful.”

He said Mr Dunn’s parents were “exhausted” but that they finally felt they were being listened to following the meeting in Westminster.

He said: “I don’t mind admitting to you I’ve been in tears, we’ve all been in tears. When they listened to us and said ‘yes you are right, yes we will listen to you and yes we will help you,’ Charlotte (Charles, Harry’s mother) started crying, I started to cry, and then the whole room. It was just amazing.”

Mr Seiger said the family learned things at a press conference with Northamptonshire chief constable Nick Adderley on Tuesday morning they were not previously aware of.

Responding to comments made by the chief constable, during which he called on Mr Seiger to “exercise constraint”, the spokesman said: “Nick Adderley is a wonderful chief constable, he runs a great force there in Northamptonshire and we all respect him, so I’ve got no personal battle against him.

“But I certainly don’t take my advice from him over when I speak publicly and what I say publicly.

“I am well aware of my responsibilities not to jeopardise a fair trial. But let’s be honest, if I had not put my arm around this family and come and worked with (the media), that mountain would not have been moved.

“We have had a little bit of success in raising the profile of the campaign but it has been absolutely exhausting, as you can imagine.

“We would love it to stop, but we will not rest until we get justice for Harry. That means two things – Mrs Sacoolas must come back, and the family want answers as to how the authorities have conducted themselves.

“They won’t stop until they get the truth. I’m sorry if that upsets the authorities.”

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