PM to address US diplomats’ driving after near miss at base where Harry Dunn died

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent
PM to address US diplomats’ driving after near miss at base where Harry Dunn died. Footage emerges of suspected US car driving on wrong side of road near RAF Croughton

Boris Johnson will raise concerns with the US secretary of state about the driving of US diplomatic staff after a near miss close to the base where the teenager Harry Dunn was killed.

Footage emerged this weekend of a suspected US government car having to brake sharply while driving on the wrong side of the road close to RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire police also revealed details of a separate incident in which one of their vehicles was struck by a car being driven on the wrong side of the road in October.

Speaking on Sunday at a world leaders’ summit in Berlin, Johnson said he would raise with the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, the driving habits of US staff at RAF Croughton, a communications base for the US Air Force.

He told Sky News: “We’re certainly raising all those issues, about the driving habits of US personnel at the base, and we’re continuing to work for justice for Harry Dunn and for his family.”

The UK has been locked in diplomatic stalemate with the US over the case of 19-year-old Dunn, who was killed in a head-on collision near RAF Croughton on 27 August last year.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US intelligence official, is believed to have been driving on the wrong side of the road and was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

However, she claimed diplomatic immunity after the collision and fled back to the US. She has since refused to return to face justice despite pleas from Dunn’s family.

The Home Office has requested that Sacoolas be sent back to the UK to face trial but the US state department has said the UK extradition request is highly inappropriate.

Concerns surrounding the driving of US diplomatic staff at the military base re-emerged this weekend with footage of a blue BMW, bearing what appears to be a US diplomatic registration plate, driving on the wrong side of the road.

Nick Adderley, the Northamptonshire police chief constable, has demanded an urgent meeting with the commander of the base and said “these incidents just cannot keep happening”.

He said: “I do not underestimate how much of a concerning incident this was and how much worse it could have been, especially considering the circumstances in which 19-year-old Harry Dunn tragically died.”

Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, are looking for assurances that safety measures are in place to make sure there are no similar incidents in the future.

The Dunn family’s spokesman Radd Seiger said: “Seeing this footage has sent shivers down my spine and made me feel sick. No harm done on this occasion, fortunately, but that is not the point.

“Enough is enough. This near miss brings both issues sharply into focus and I now call on the UK government to take immediate action to ensure the safety of their citizens living in and around these bases but also to make sure that never again will a so-called diplomat be allowed to evade justice.”