'They were our children, it's our job': Parents of Manchester bombing victims demand legal change

The parents of teenage sweethearts Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford, who died in the 2017 Manchester bombing, have launched a campaign to overturn what they say is an 'antiquated' law, which means only a registrar can lawfully register their children's deaths.

The deaths of Chloe and Liam, from South Shields, have been at the centre of a public enquiry into the 2017 terrorist bombing which also claimed the lives of 20 other people.

Under a law from 1953, it means that the families of the victims are now forbidden from lawfully registering their deaths.

Liam's mother Caroline says handing that responsibility to a 'total stranger' is cruel and disrespectful.

"It's my job as his mother," she said.

"I registered his birth, I should be allowed to register his death as well."

Together with Chloe's parents Mark and Lisa Rutherford, Mrs Curry has won support from the families' MP, Emma Lewell-Buck who raised the issue in the House of Commons on their behalf.

"Chloe and William were constituents of mine," she said.

"Their parents have been through the most unimaginable pain.

"They’ve sat through hours and hours of the enquiry, but now, when it comes to registering they precious children’s deaths, they’ve been told by some law dating back to the 1950s that they’re not allowed to. 

"[The Government] is explaining to me that it’s too distressing for parents to choose and they’re not going to change the law.

"Well, I’m sorry, it’s not for Government ministers to decide for people what’s too distressing for parents.

"There should be a choice there."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The people who were killed or had their lives changed forever in the Manchester Arena attack remain at the forefront of our thoughts. 

"The Births and Deaths Registration Act outlines that any death which results in an inquest, including mass casualty events, must be registered by the local registrar on receipt of the Coroner’s Certificate.

"Victims’ families are able to request a copy of a death certificate following registration."