Dominic Raab police protection officer leaves gun on plane

19 September 2020, 08:01 | Updated: 19 September 2020, 08:57

Dominic Raab has been in Washington
Dominic Raab has been in Washington. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A police protection officer travelling with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been stood down from duties after leaving his gun on a plane at Heathrow.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident on a flight into the UK on Friday, 18 September and we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

"The officer involved has since been removed from operational duties whilst an internal investigation into the circumstances is taking place."

The officer had been travelling with Mr Raab on a visit to the US.

The gun was reportedly found by a cleaner.

Dominic Raab met with Mike Pompeo
Dominic Raab met with Mike Pompeo. Picture: PA

A source told the Sun: "The protection officer began sorting out passports and preparing to escort Mr Raab off the flight."

"For whatever reason, he took off his holster with the loaded Glock pistol inside and laid it on the seat. 

"The officer then went off with the Foreign Secretary, leaving the gun behind.

"The cleaners came on and one of them found the gun in its holster.

"She was understandably shocked and called for help and police were called."

Earlier this year, one of David Cameron's security officers was suspended after he also left his gun, believed to be a 9mm Glock 17, in a toilet on board an aircraft.  

It had been found along with Mr Cameron's passport on board the British Airways scheduled service from New York to London

The incident delayed take-off delayed by an hour.

The officer was later removed from operational duties and is expected to face disciplinary action and an investigation by the force's Directorate of Professional Standards. 

Mr Raab had been in Washington to meet US politicians threatening to block a UK-US trade deal if Boris Johnson breaks international law during the Brexit deal.

The Foreign Secretary said he had had "very positive discussions" with Republicans and Democrats, after senior US politicians warned they will not support any free trade pact with the UK if Britain fails to uphold its commitments to Northern Ireland as part of Brexit.

Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who also met with Mr Raab during his visit, said she "welcomed his assurances" but warned: "If the UK violates its international agreements and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress."

Earlier this week, a No10 spokesman defended the bill, telling reporters: "The Prime Minister has been clear throughout that we are taking these steps to precisely make sure that the Belfast Agreement is upheld in all circumstances and any harmful defaults do not inadvertently come into play.

"We continue to remain absolutely committed to no hard border and no border infrastructure between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and we will continue to engage with our US partners on a bipartisan basis to ensure that our positions are understood."