New anti-terror law to be introduced after fierce campaign from mum of Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett
Martyn’s law, named for Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett, is to be introduced across the UK after a campaign led by his mother.
Hett, 29, was one of the 22 people killed in the terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in 2017.
In the wake of the tragedy, his mother Figen Murray has led a campaign for Martyn’s law – a proposal which would tighten security at public venues and require them to have a counter-terrorism plan.
On Monday, security minister James Brokenshire announced that Martyn’s law will be introduced, including a new ‘Protect Duty’ that requires venue operators to “consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take proportionate and reasonable measures to prepare for and protect the public from such an attack”.
The measures could include increased physical security, training, incident response plans and exercises for staff on what to do during an attack.
Martyn Hett law ‘will make us all safer’.
A consultation will launch on the law “in the spring”, according to the Home Office.
In response, Figen Murray said: “As Martyn’s mum, I want to thank the government.
“Today’s consultation is the start of making us all that bit safer. Public venues already have all sorts of obligations from fire prevention to health and safety – but until now there has been no duty to protect their customers.
“Martyn’s law will change that. Most of us already thought such a law existed, it’s a common sense step that will save lives in the future.”
Proposals ‘will prevent more families suffering heartbreak’.
James Brokenshire added: “Our first priority is keeping the public safe and preventing more families from suffering the heartbreak of losing a loved one.”
He added: “We are in complete agreement with campaigners such as Figen Murray on the importance of venues and public spaces having effective and proportionate protective security and preparedness measures to keep people safe.
“Of course, it is important that this new law is proportionate. This public consultation will ensure we put in place a law that will help protect the public while not putting undue pressure on businesses.”
Martyn Hett, who was a well-known Coronation Street superfan, had a memorial bench on the soap’s set dedicated in his honour in 2018.