Jeremy Corbyn tells Hartlepool dad he feels his pain over daughter Katrice Lee missing for 38 years

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn offered his support to Hartlepool dad Richie Lee in the search for his daughter who has been missing for almost 38 years.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 6:50 pm
Jeremy Corbyn (left) with Richard Lee. Picture by Frank Reid

Mr Lee, 69, was serving with the British Army in Germany when Katrice disappeared on her second brithday in November 1981.

He got the chance to speak to Mr Corbyn about his and other missing people cases that he said do not get the support or attention they deserve.

Mr Corbyn said he felt Mr Lee’s pain and offered to do what he could to help him.

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The two met during a visit by Mr Corbyn to Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum, which was the subject of a successful Hartlepool Mail campaign, when he spoke about veterans’ issues.

Mr Corbyn said: “I had a very good discussion, it really was an honour to meet him and share his pain because 38 years on the pain doesn’t go away of just not knowing what happened to his daughter.

“We discussed what has been done and what more could be done, enhanced searches but above all the use of technology to use anything possible on enhanced photos of what she might look like today.

“I said I will take it up and I will.”

Katrice Lee disappeared on her second birthday from a NAAFI supermarket in Germany in 1981 where her dad was serving in the army.

Mr Corbyn said he had families in his Islington constituency going through the same thing.

Katrice’s family believe she was taken to be a surrogate child. This year would be her 40th birthday.

Mr Lee highlighted to Mr Corbyn how some cases receive more attention from national media and the authorities than others.

He said: “I’m pleased to have met him because what follows Jeremy is the press and therefore it highlights my daughter’s case yet again in the public eye.

“It is just said it is not a level playing field for all missing cases. There is no one case more important than another.”

Mr Lee said he hopes Mr Corbyn raises the issue in parliament.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill said: “I’m really pleased he took time out to talk to Richie about Katrice and agreed to raise the profile at the highest level.”