A raucous hustings in Dominic Raab’s constituency became even noisier when it emerged that the grieving family of Harry Dunn had not been allowed in.
The foreign secretary was facing a grilling from constituents at an unusually noisy event alongside party challengers Peter Ashurst from Labour and Monica Harding for the Liberal Democrats at East Molesey Methodist Church.
Grieving father Tim Dunn – who does not live in the constituency – had announced that he planned to confront the minister at the hustings and has encouraged his constituents to vote for his Liberal Democrat rival.
But he was stranded outside with an estimated 100 others who were not able to get into the venue.
According to the Daily Mail, Raab said to the family prior to the hustings: “I don’t want to keep the other people waiting but I am very happy to see you any time, you’ve got my number.”
When a supporter inside stood up to demand Dunn be allowed to come in and question Raab, she was greeted with chants of “sit down, sit down”. These were quickly followed by chants of “let them in, let them in”.
Sky News’ political correspondent Lewis Goodall narrated the scene as: “all hell breaks loose”.
The Dunn family have advocated that Esher and Walton constituents vote for Raab’s Lib Dem rival, due to their treatment at the hands of Raab’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Dunns tragically lost their 19-year-old son Harry when his motorbike was in collision with a car driving on the wrong side of the road in RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. It is suspected that the car was driven by Anne Sacoolas, an American who claimed diplomatic immunity as she fled back to the USA.
The family believe that the status granted to Sacoolas was legally wrong and plan to bring a case to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The FCO has stated that it plans to oppose the case and will seek legal costs.
Tim Dunn told the Press Association outside the hustings that some members of his family are “in bits, pining away” over their treatment at the foreign secretary’s hands.
The family said in a statement: “We feel that [Raab’s] handling of our situation has been so outrageously dishonourable and disrespectful that we have a duty to respectfully bring these matters to the direct attention of that local community that have until now voted him into this position.”
The constituency of Esher and Walton is one of seven Tory-held seats which is considered at risk of being lost in this election, according to polling firm Datapraxis.