24 May 2024

Sunak commits to Martyn’s Law but victim’s mother still feels ‘let down’

24 May 2024

The mother of a Manchester Arena bombing victim says she still feels “let down” by Rishi Sunak despite the Prime Minister saying he is committed to carrying legislation in her son’s name into the next Parliament.

Martyn Hett was one of 22 people killed in the blast at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

His mother, Figen Murray, has been campaigning for Martyn’s Law, which would require venues and local authorities in the UK to have training requirements and preventative plans against terror attacks.

Ms Murray met with Mr Sunak to talk about the law hours before he called the General Election.

She said the Prime Minister had promised her on Wednesday he would introduce Martyn’s Law to Parliament before summer recess, but could not guarantee the legislation would be passed before the next election.

Commons business is due to end on Friday when Parliament is prorogued.

Mr Sunak said on Friday he had not deceived Ms Murray and that he is committed to bringing in the law.

“I said by summer recess and that will still be possible,” he told journalists accompanying him on the campaign trail.

“The election is in the first week of July. Parliament will reconvene immediately after that, so there will still be time to bring that law in before summer recess, and that’s what I remain committed to doing.

“We’ve done all the prep work and I had a very constructive conversation with Figen and actually I start by paying tribute, as I said to her at the time, to her bravery in the face of tragedy that happened to her family, to have then campaigned for positive change.

“I was telling her, I said in Parliament a few weeks ago, the most inspiring thing about doing my job is meeting people like her.

“So the work has been done on the Bill, she met with the Home Secretary as well after me, James [Cleverly] was with me when I saw her to walk her through some of the detail and it will be ready to introduce in July.”

Ms Murray had walked 200 miles to London to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister calling for his support for the law. She arrived on Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of her son’s death.

She said on Friday: “These last few days have been hard – I was exhausted after walking 200 miles from Manchester to London, I was upset by the anniversary and then I felt misled by the Prime Minister.

“It’s great that the PM is now saying he will support Martyn’s Law if elected – and I thank him for that. But Martyn’s Law was a commitment for the last Parliament, not the next one, and I feel let down by all the promises that were made and broken.

“National security is too important to be so low a priority. I hope whoever wins the next election will act immediately to make this right.”

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