23 May 2024

Manchester Arena bombing victim’s mother ‘feels misled’ after Sunak meeting

23 May 2024

The mother of a Manchester Arena bombing victim has said she felt “a bit misled” by the Prime Minister in their meeting following her 200-mile walk to Downing Street.

Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, had talks with Rishi Sunak on Wednesday just a few hours before he called the General Election, in which she urged him to pass new terror legislation in her son’s name.

Martyn’s Law, named in tribute to the 29-year-old who was one of 22 people killed at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017, would require venues and local authorities in the UK to have training requirements and preventative plans against terror attacks.

Following the meeting with the PM, Ms Murray said he had promised her he would introduce Martyn’s Law to Parliament before summer recess but could not guarantee the legislation would be passed before the next election.

Just two more days of Commons business have been scheduled, during which important legislation will have to be rushed through.

Party whips from the Conservatives and Labour are holding talks to work out what outstanding legislation can become law before prorogation – the end of the current parliamentary session – on Friday.

Speaking on Thursday to ITV1’s Good Morning Britain, Ms Murray said: “During the meeting yesterday we shook hands, he actually agreed, he promised that he will bring it into Parliament before summer recess but he could not guarantee that it’s going to be done by the next general election.

“We shook hands and he looked me straight me in the eyes so I don’t feel I was being lied to because he at that point knew what he was going to do later that day but he must have been in a really difficult position.

“However he could have maybe handled it slightly differently. I feel a bit misled rather than lied to.”

Ms Murray added: “He is behind the legislation definitely and we had a conversation on the phone 18 months ago where he said he is absolutely fully supportive of the legislation, it’s a no-brainer, and he would support it.”

The staunch campaigner began her walk on May 7 on the spot where her son was killed in the atrocity as she continues to demand Martyn’s Law is introduced to Parliament after numerous reassurances from the Government over the past five years that it would happen.

Ms Murray also met with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on Wednesday who told her he would pass Martyn’s Law if there was a change of government. She later said: “While this is very encouraging, we don’t want to wait for a new government to get this done.

“With all party support and public security at risk, there is no excuse for not getting this done now.”

Asked whether the Prime Minister had lied to Ms Murray by telling her the Bill would be brought forward before summer recess, his official spokesman said: “I can’t speak to private conversations but clearly the PM joined people across the country in paying tribute to Figen Murray and obviously, as he said yesterday, remembering the victims from the Manchester Arena bombings seven years ago. She’s been a tireless campaigner.

“He’s obviously talked previously about bringing the legislation forward as soon as possible.”

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