British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to mental health professionals as he visits Watford General Hospital in Watford, Britain October 7, 2019. Picture: PETER SUMMERS / REUTERS
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to mental health professionals as he visits Watford General Hospital in Watford, Britain October 7, 2019. Picture: PETER SUMMERS / REUTERS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he’s prepared to raise the death of a British teenager with US President Donald Trump after the wife of an American diplomat left the UK following a fatal road accident.

The diplomatic spat comes at a time when Johnson is looking to strengthen ties with the US as he negotiates Britain’s departure from the EU. The prime minister is caught between championing a cause that has sparked a public outcry in the UK media — as he prepares to fight an election — and remaining on good terms with Trump.

Motorcyclist Harry Dunn died after a collision with a car on August 27 near a US air base at Croughton, central England, according to Northamptonshire police. The force said “a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in our investigation” has since left the country.

A spokesman for the US embassy in London confirmed the driver of the car had diplomatic immunity but declined to identify her.

“I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose,” Johnson told Sky News on Monday. He said foreign secretary Dominic Raab is raising the issue with the US embassy.

“If we can’t resolve it, then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House,” Johnson said.

The US embassy issued a statement expressing sympathy to Dunn’s family but said diplomatic immunity is “rarely waived”.

“Any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry,” the embassy statement said. “Immunity is rarely waived.”

Bloomberg