Home Secretary 'particularly sorry' after Figen Murray 'let down' by Rishi Sunak over Martyn's Law

Figen Murray on Downing Street, with her husband Stuart
-Credit: (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

The Home Secretary insists he is 'particularly sorry' to Figen Murray after plans to introduce Martyn's Law were scuppered by the general election. Martyn Hett's campaigning mum walked 200 miles from Manchester to Westminster as part of her campaign to change the law.

She arrived in Westminster on Wednesday (May 22) - the seventh anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing - and spoke to Rishi Sunak, who claimed his government would introduce Martyn's Law before the summer recess. Yet hours later, the PM ripped up his summer plans by calling the July 4 election.

Figen has since spoken of feeling 'misled' by Mr Sunak. Asked whether the Government would apologise to Figen, James Cleverly told Sky News' Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips: "Of course we're sorry that not all the legislation has passed, and I'm particularly sorry that we weren't able to get Martyn's Law on the statute books before the general election.

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"But when I discussed with the family and the campaign group that it might straddle a general election, that if we re-entered government we would prioritise this to get it on because it has taken longer than we would have wanted. And I said there is cross-party support, and I said I cannot envisage a world where this is not enacted, even if it is delayed because of a general election."

James Cleverly
James Cleverly -Credit:Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Figen's son Martyn was one of the 22 killed in the 2017 atrocity. Martyn's Law would require venues and local authorities in the UK to have training requirements and preventative plans against terror attacks.

Speaking to Adam Boulton on Times Radio, Figen said the PM had 'hesitated' before shaking hands with her at their meeting as he promised to introduce the law change before summer. With Parliament prorogued and campaigning for the July 4 election under way, Ms Murray said she felt 'misled' and that the election announcement put everything they had discussed 'into question'.

She said: "So the meeting was an interesting one because the Prime Minister promised me that he will bring Martyn's Law introduce it into Parliament before summer recess and I actually repeated 'you promise?' and he said, 'yes, I promise'. So I actually reached my hand out and said, 'can we shake on this?' and there was this split second of hesitation, which I found a bit puzzling.

Martyn Hett, Figen's son
Martyn Hett, Figen's son -Credit:PA

"It was only a very short moment, but I was a bit confused about that sort of hesitation." Figen added: "I don't feel he lied to me. I feel he misled me. He could have maybe worded it slightly different so that I would have left the meeting a little disappointed, but not misled."

Mr Sunak said on Friday he could still honour the commitment, telling journalists: "I said by summer recess and that will still be possible. 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."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer avoided making a guarantee that his party would bring it to Parliament ahead of the summer recess, but said he would introduce the law 'as a priority' should he replace Mr Sunak in Number 10. Figen told Times Radio she does not want an apology from the Prime Minister, but hopes the party that wins the election sticks to the pledges on passing the legislation.