Manchester Arena attack victim's mother asks for 'parent to parent' meeting with Prime Minister

The mother of a Manchester Arena attack victim has asked for a "one parent to another" meeting with the new Prime Minister, to try to speed-up the passing of a proposed security law for public venues.

Figen Murray's son Martyn Hett was among 22 people who died in the bombing in May 2017.

She is now worried that the Protect Duty, put forward by the Government earlier this year, is taking too long to enact.

Figen said: "The legislation is really really urgent now. With all the disruption's in government, it is quite a vulnerable time for the country to maybe attacked by somebody who is bad as they might think the government is distracted by other issues."

In a tweet, Ms Murray appealed directly to Rishi Sunak to "pay attention" saying she wants to "explain what it is like to lose someone to an act of terrorism."

Ms Murray said the planned legislation is "dragging on and on" and she wants to speak to the PM as he is the parent of two daughters.

She said: "I want to speak to Mr Sunak as a parent to another parent. I want him to understand the impact of terrorism and what it does to individual families so it brings it more to life for him.

"I am now discussing this with security minister number six, talking about the same thing as four and a half years ago.

"I have learned that things in government happen slowly. I'm now thinking how long am I going to wait? I'm requesting very politely to have a meeting with the prime minister and that he will grant me ten minutes of his time."

Ms Murray added she knows the cost of living crisis is a "top priority", but safety of the public needs to be "right up there" as well.

Ms Murray has long pushed for what is known as Martyn's Law. She wants venues to adopt security measures which ensure staff have counter terrorism training.

She has also pushed for risk assessments of potential threats to be a requirement, alongside having a plan in place to deal with a terrorist incident.

Ministers responded with the Protect Duty, laid out in the Queen's Speech, back in May.

What would it mean?

Among the Protect Duty proposals are:

  • The introduction of free counter-terror training for event staff

  • Assessments of locations to see how vulnerable they are

  • The need for venues and local authorities to have clear counter-terror action plans

  • More thorough security checks, including bag searches

Ms Murray spoke at the United Nations in New York last month Credit: UN TV

The campaigner, who publicly forgave terrorist Salman Abedi, completed a counter-terrorism masters degree shortly after the atrocity to try and understand why her son was killed.

She has since worked relentlessly to make the public safer, even addressing the United Nations Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism.

As the second report of the Manchester Arena Inquiry is due next week, Ms Murray says she is asking for the PM's intervention for "everybody's sakes."