Grieving parents 'disgusted' with Dominic Raab over legal costs

21 November 2019, 11:59

Harry Dunn was killed in a crash in August
Harry Dunn was killed in a crash in August. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The parents of Harry Dunn have called the government's decision to seek legal fees from them as "disgusting", but Dominic Raab has defended the plan.

19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed during a collision in Northamptonshire in August of this year.

The incident led to the suspect, Anne Sacoolas, leaving the UK to claim diplomatic immunity in the US.

The teenager's parents have said they intend to take legal action against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The Foreign Office said last month it would "seek costs" for any judicial review brought and argued the family has not found "any reasonably arguable ground of legal challenge".

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has defended the decision, saying the government has to "protect taxpayer's money".

It comes just a month after he said there would be "no obstacles to justice".

Mr Dunn's mother called the claims made by the FCO "completely disgusting" and said the family has been "misled" by Mr Raab.

An FCO spokesperson told LBC News that it is "normal government policy" to seek legal costs in cases such as this.

The spokesperson continued: “We have deep sympathy for Harry’s family. We have done and will continue to do everything we properly can to ensure that justice is done.

“As the Foreign Secretary set out in Parliament, the individual involved had diplomatic immunity whilst in the country under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

Harry Dunn's parents are disputing the legal costs
Harry Dunn's parents are disputing the legal costs. Picture: PA

Last month, the Foreign Secretary told Sky News: "We just cannot responsibly allow ourselves to be sued without taking the normal action in defending ourselves when the position that the representative and the family are pursuing in law is wrong."

He also said: "It pains me because I want to give them the solace of justice in this case.

"But we also need to protect the taxpayers' money and the legal position that we set out, which is the correct one."

Harry Dunn was killed on 27 August when his motorbike collided with a car owned by Anne Sacoolas.

The crash happened outside RAF Croughton, where her husband Jonathan was an intelligence officer.

Mrs Sacoolas then left the UK, claiming diplomatic immunity, however, the Dunn family are currently seeking a judicial review of this decision.