Express & Star

Sunak confronted by mother of Manchester Arena victim over delay to Martyn’s Law

The Prime Minister pledged to get the legislation through Parliament before the summer recess if he wins the election.

Head and shoulders of Figen Murray, the mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett

Rishi Sunak was confronted by the mother of a Manchester Arena bombing victim over delays to introducing a law in her son’s memory.

Figen Murray has been campaigning for tougher security measures at public venues after her son Martyn Hett was among the 22 killed in the 2017 suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.

The Prime Minister told her, just hours before he called the General Election, that he would bring in Martyn’s Law before the parliamentary summer break.

Last week, the Conservative manifesto pledged to introduce the legislation to help protect against terror attacks.

But on Wednesday, Ms Murray told Mr Sunak that “there has been nothing” since he promised her 18 months ago that he would “hurry up” and pass the law.

In a voice message played on an LBC Radio phone-in, she said: “You have put in your manifesto that Martyn’s Law is a priority.

“I don’t know what you mean by that because you promised me 18 months ago, in a phone call on what would have been Martyn’s 35th birthday, that you’re going to really hurry up with Martyn’s Law and you are very committed to it.

“There has been nothing since then. So what exactly do you mean by prioritising? Can you please put a number, a figure to it in terms of how many months that’s going to still be?”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak standing up talking to a group of people
Rishi Sunak insisted he was still committed to bringing forward Martyn’s Law (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Prime Minister responded by stressing his commitment to enacting Martyn’s Law if the Tories defy opinion polls and hold on to power at the election.

He told the radio show: “If we’re re-elected, Parliament will re-form at the beginning of July and we’ll be able to introduce the legislation before summer recess.

“Before summer recess is what I told Figen and that will still be the case.”

He continued: “I can understand why Figen would like to have seen this done even quicker, but it is important that it works properly. And that takes time to get right.”

It is “reasonable” to take the time to ensure the law is effective because “it will impact thousands and thousands of businesses”, he added.

Ms Murray has previously said she felt “let down” and “misled” after Mr Sunak told her he would introduce the legislation before the summer break, before calling an election later that day, leading to Parliament being dissolved before Martyn’s Law could be enacted.

It would require venues and local authorities in the UK to have training requirements and preventative plans in place against terror attacks.

Labour has said it will introduce Martyn’s Law as a “priority” if elected.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.