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Mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim feels “misled” by Rishi Sunak over law change

Figen Murray's son Martyn died in the 2017 attack.

By Nick Reilly

Figen Murray arrives in Downing street to deliver a petition on May 22, 2024 in London, England. Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

The mother of a man who died in the Manchester Arena bomb attack has said she felt “misled” by Rishi Sunak over proposed plans to bring in stronger protections against terrorist attacks in public places.

Figen Murray has consistently pushed for change in UK law since the death of her son Martyn Hett in 2017. He was one of 22 people who lost their lives when a suicide bomber detonated a device as fans left an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Martyn’s Law, which Murray has pushed for, would require venues and local authorities to have adequate preventative plans and training requirements against terror attacks.

Ms Murray met with Sunak on Wednesday, (May 22) just hours before he called a general election for July 4. She had completed a 200-walk to Downing Street in her son’s memory, to coincide with the anniversary of the attack.

After meeting Sunak, she said he gave her assurances that he would introduce Martyn’s Law to Parliament before the summer recess, but that he could not guarantee the legislation would be passed before the next election.

While both Conservative and Labour whips are working to establish what laws can be passed before the end of Parliament today (May 24), it looks unlikely that the law will pass.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Ms Murray said: “During the meeting 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.”

She 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.”

Backing the plan, Labour leader Keir Starmer previously said: “If time is allocated after the upcoming recess, we will work constructively with the government to ensure this bill is passed swiftly. You will recall the promise you made to Figen Murray in December 2022 to put this legislation into place. I urge you to work with us to deliver on that promise without further delay. The victims and their families deserve nothing less.”