Thornberry criticises Raab for ‘threatening financial hardship’ on family of Harry Dunn

Harry Dunn
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The shadow foreign secretary has urged Dominic Raab to “withdraw the disgraceful threat… of crippling costs” to the family of Harry Dunn, after their initial legal claim was dismissed by the Foreign Office.

Emily Thornberry said she had written a letter to the foreign secretary to say it “beggars belief” that he would threaten the family with financial hardship in their search for justice for their son.

Her letter comes after the PA news agency reported on Sunday that the Foreign Office told the 19-year-old’s parents that their legal claim against them and Dominic Raab was “without foundation”.


Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn had requested the Foreign Office “withdraw the advice” provided to Northamptonshire Police, surrounding the granting of diplomatic immunity to the US suspect in the case Anne Sacoolas.

The family’s lawyers also offered an alternative request of “paying substantive damages” for breaching the European Convention on Human Rights.

Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike was involved in a head-on crash with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Sacoolas, the motorist allegedly responsible for the crash, claimed diplomatic immunity and was allowed to return to the US.

After the Foreign Office said it would “oppose and seek costs” for any judicial review, Thornberry urged Raab to “reverse this decision”.

The family spokesperson Radd Seiger said the family were pleased that somebody was “fighting for us”.

Harry Dunn death
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn with family spokesman Radd Seiger (centre) (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In the letter, Thornberry said: “I am appalled to read… today that Harry Dunn’s family have been contacted by the government legal department and advised not to pursue the claim for a judicial review over the death of their son, with the warning that if they lose, they will face a claim for the cost of the whole review.

“Harry’s family have already suffered huge grief and a rightful sense of injustice and it beggars belief that you would frustrate their efforts to find answers by threatening them with financial hardship.

“I strongly urge you to reverse this decision and – instead of working against Harry’s family – work with them to provide the justice they deserve.”

Seiger told PA: “We are obviously delighted that Emily Thornberry is fighting for us.

“I’ve used words such as ‘disgusting’ and ‘disgraceful’ about Dominic Raab’s conduct, and it is good to see somebody holding him to account.

“Our social media channels haven’t stopped since the Foreign Office responded to us, and we are absolutely overwhelmed by the support.

“We will continue to fight for Harry and we will not be intimidated by the Foreign Office or anybody who tries to stop us from finding out the truth.”

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  • Show Comments
    1. This blatantly shows how our Government has absolutely no regard for its citizens, and is much, much more interested in pleasing the USA’s criminal political classes than getting justice for UK citizens killed by foreign nationals on our Sovereign soil.

      Still, hardly surprising, this is a government and foreign office that has deliberately presided over thousands of Britons being murdered on our soil for the benefit of foreign corporations, and they have been all too eager to cover-up their heinous crimes and treason because they do not want Democracy. These people want our total subservient submission to their autocratic and oligarchic whims, or they want us suffering and dead so that we can’t call them out on their anti-democratic, pro-dictator shit.

      What they actually deserve is death, thusly freeing us from their deep cowardice and weak-minded authority, which we have for far too long, let them get away scot-free with, maybe we should all contribute towards the Dunn family’s campaign to get justice for their murdered son. I am a biker too, and was myself very nearly wiped out by a US General and family in a huge American car which came around a corner in Wiltshire on the wrong side of the road because the occupants were too busy talking to each other, and the driver (the US General) didn’t appreciate how much his car would roll on our windy lanes.

      Fortunately I was not wiped out, but I did pursue the car, stopped it, and gave the US General a rapid, verbal, lesson in driving safely on our roads in vehicles not really suited to them. In this case, the US General could not apologise enough, and himself was visibly shaken at the close call, but he didn’t try to deny anything or blame me. How things have changed since then.

      I sincerely hope the Dunn family get justice, and if the person who killed Harry Dunn had even the remotest sense of guilt, they would stand up and face what they have done, instead of proving their callous disregard for what they have done, and a cold-hearted disdain for the life they have taken, and the lives they have destroyed.

      Dominic ‘Shitferbrainz’ Raab and The Foreign Office is as complicit in this cowardly act as the person responsible for Harry Dunn’s death.

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