Boris Johnson has admitted the chances of a US intelligence official’s wife returning to the UK to face justice over the death of Harry Dunn are “very low”.
The government has attempted to have Anne Sacoolas, who claimed diplomatic immunity and fled to the US after her collision with the teenage motorcyclist outside RAF Croughton in August, extradited.
But the US State Department branded the extradition request “highly inappropriate” on Friday.
Speaking this morning on BBC Breakfast, the prime minister said: “I think that it’s right that we made the appeal for extradition.”
But he added: “I think the chances of America actually responding by sending Anne Sacoolas to this country are very low.
“That’s not what they do.”
But the spokesman for the Dunn family said “there is no doubt” in his mind that “Anne Sacoolas will be coming back to the UK to face justice”.
Harry Dunn was 17 when he died after his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August last year.
The base hosts a US Air Force communications station.
Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an American intelligence official, claimed diplomatic immunity and went back to the US after the crash.
The Home Office attempted to extradite her on Friday after she was charged with causing Harry Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.
But the US State Department has said that requesting extradition for Mrs Sacoolas is highly inappropriate and would be an abuse.
Reacting to the prime minister’s comments from Denver in the US, the Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said: “I do not know what is in the prime minister’s mind in making those comments because the parents and I have not yet had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him – but we expect to do so within the next few days.
“Certainly, if he is basing those comments on what is currently emanating from Washington he may well be right.
“Harry’s family will as always take things one step at a time and will not prejudge the outcome of the process but as I have stated many times publicly, my analysis of the prospects of success are diametrically opposed to Mr Johnson’s given my detailed discussions with officials both in London and Washington.
“If that is what transpires, the campaign will swing into action deploying a number of measures including blockading the bases and will sit down with British officials to discuss what they will do, not only on Harry’s family’s behalf, but the whole nation’s, to ensure that justice is done and that no-one ever suffers the same fate as Harry.
“That is not a sustainable position and I have made that crystal clear to the government and the point has been taken on board.
“But we will take one step at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. Anne Sacoolas will be coming back to the UK to face justice. Unlike the prime minister, there is no doubt in my mind.”
Mrs Sacoolas’ lawyer Amy Jeffress has said her client will “not return voluntarily to the UK to face a potential jail sentence” and described the incident as a “terrible but unintentional accident”.