Dominic Raab’s bodyguard has been “removed from operational duties” after allegedly leaving his gun on a plane at Heathrow.
Incident Comes To Light
A cleaner is reported to have found the loaded Glock 19 pistol in its holster on a seat on the United Airlines flight after it landed in London on Friday.
The foreign secretary had been in Washington DC to speak to US politicians about Brexit.
Scotland Yard said an internal investigation was taking place.
The cleaner raised the alarm after finding the weapon, the Sun reported, and police boarded the plane – before realising the gun belonged to one of Mr Raab’s close protection officers.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident on a flight into the UK on Friday 18 September and we are taking this matter extremely seriously.
“The officer involved has since been removed from operational duties whilst an internal investigation into the circumstances is taking place.”
‘Lapse In Concentration’
The Sun reported that the officer took off his holster and put it on his seat before escorting the foreign secretary off the flight – leaving it behind.
Former Met chief superintendent Nick Aldworth told there were strict rules about the handling of firearms, but that human error does happen.
“This sort of thing is not common, but it does happen,” he told the Today programme. “It happens because human beings are in the system and human beings operate under an enormous amount of stress sometimes, particularly when they are managing armed operations or in the middle of an armed operation.
“This appears to be an unfortunate lapse in concentration for which the officer will pay a price in their career, in as much as they have been removed from operational duties, which is something they probably love doing, and sadly for them, will no longer be able to do.”
He added that the Met takes such matters “incredibly seriously”.
In February, a bodyguard for former prime minister David Cameron was investigated for reportedly leaving his gun in a plane toilet.
In that incident, the gun was found by a passenger on a British Airways flight from New York to London. Mr Cameron is entitled to continued security provided by the Metropolitan Police as a former prime minister.
More About Dominic Rennie Raab
Dominic Rennie Raab is a British politician serving as First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs since July 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, he has also been the Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton since 2010.
Dominic Rennie Raab was born on 25 February 1974 in Buckinghamshire. He is the son of Jean, a clothes buyer, and Peter Raab, a food manager for Marks & Spencer. His father, who was Jewish, came to Britain from Czechoslovakia in 1938 aged six, following the Munich Agreement, which gave parts of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. Raab was brought up in his English mother’s faith, in the Church of England. He grew up in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Raab was twelve years old when his father died of cancer.
Raab attended Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham and spent a brief period as a volunteer on Kibbutz Sarid before studying law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where had a room on the same corridor as future Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman. Raab captained the university karate teamand graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence. He then pursued further studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he won the Clive Parry Prize for International Law, and took a Master’s degree (LLM).