LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was booed after refusing to stop and talk to the grieving parents of a man who was killed in a road accident involving a U.S. diplomat’s wife, British television channels reported on Tuesday.
The case of Harry Dunn, 19, who died in August after his motorcycle collided with a car driven by Anne Sacoolas, has caused difficulties for Raab since Sacoolas left Britain claiming diplomatic immunity, outraging many Britons.
Arriving at an election candidates’ debate in his parliamentary constituency on Monday night, Raab refused to stop for a conversation with Tim Dunn, Harry Dunn’s father, who has publicly criticized Raab’s handling of the case.
“We feel he’s lied to us two or three times in meetings and in statements he’s made in the (House of) Commons,” Tim Dunn later told reporters outside the debate venue, a church in a southwest suburb of London.
“And we feel that people should know how he really is as a gentleman and how he comes across to us as our family.”
Footage of the two men’s brief exchange, broadcast by ITV, showed Raab telling Dunn that he would be happy to see him any time but did not want to keep the audience inside the debate venue waiting.
After Dunn repeated his request to talk to him, Raab pointed his finger at Dunn, saying it was “not on” that Dunn was trying to talk to him “right in front of the cameras”, then turned away and strode off.
Dunn and a group of his supporters were denied access to the debate venue. The BBC quoted a member of staff at the church saying this was due to fire safety concerns.
The group waited until the end of the debate and booed Raab as he left.
Raab is campaigning for re-election to parliament in the Dec. 12 vote. His predecessor as Conservative member of parliament for the same constituency, who disagrees with the ruling party’s policy to “get Brexit done”, has urged voters to shun Raab and instead vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate.
The Foreign Office declined to comment specifically on what happened on Monday night. “We have done everything we can properly to clear a path so that justice can be done for Harry’s family,” a spokeswoman said.
The Conservative Party did not respond to requests for comment.
The case of Harry Dunn gained international prominence when his parents met U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House and he tried to persuade them to meet with Sacoolas, who was in the building at the same time.
The parents, who had not been told she would be there, declined. They want Sacoolas to return to Britain to face police questioning about the crash that killed their son.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison