Top counter terror chiefs and victims’ families warn lives at risk if 'Martyn's Law' delayed

Figen Murray with her son Martyn Hett who died in the arena bomb attack in May 2017 Credit: Family picture

Lives are at risk because ministers are dragging their feet with a law requiring venues to improve their security, counter-terror chiefs and victims’ families have warned.

Britain’s former top counter-terror officer Neil Basu joined Figen Murray, whose son died in the Manchester arena bomb attack, in calling on Rishi Sunak to take action to protect the public.

Former Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu is urging the PM to end the delay in implementing Martyn's Law Credit: PA

They have written to the PM urging him to approve a “Protect Duty” that would compel all public places to give staff basic security training and draw up emergency terror plans.

In a letter to Number 10, they said terror threat has evolved, with the use of cruder methods such as "knives and cars targeting less protected locations".

Since the attack in Manchester in 2017 there have been eight further attacks in theUK, taking place in the street, in a park, outside a hospital and at a railway station.

"We think this delay to implementation is dangerous to the public and it would also put the government in an invidious position if there were to be another attack where basic security measures could have made a difference," the letter reads.

"We urge you to bring the bill to parliament as quickly as possible and to ensure it applies to all but the very smallest of public venues."

The 22 victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack in May 2017.

The Government committed to implementing “Martyn’s Law” - named after Manchester Arena victim Martyn Hett - in the Queen's Speech, but it has yet to become law.

Now Mr Basu along with four other former senior counter-terror chiefs, a former SAS commander, Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox and Figen Murray, have demanded action, warning there is no time to waste.

Brendan Cox with his wife Jo Cox who was murdered in her constituency

Figen made a direct appeal to the PM to consider his own family.

“I’d urge Rishi Sunak to think about his own daughters, and everyone’s sons and daughters to get this law.”

The Government last night promised to respond to the letter and insisted it still planned to implement Martyn’s Law.

The signatories to the letter include:

  • Chief Constable Lucy D’Orsi QPM, Former UK CT Senior National Coordinator

  • Assistant Commissioner Anil Kanti Basu QPM, Former Head of CT Policing UKDeputy Assistant Commissioner

  • Dean Haydon QPM, Former UK CT Senior National Coordinator (Pursue and Prevent)

  • Mrs Figen Murray OBE Mother of Martyn Hett and lead campaigner for Martyn’s Law

  • Mr Brendan Cox Husband of Jo Cox MP and member of Martyn’s Law Campaign Group