Mum of gay man who died in Manchester Arena bombing says new anti-terror law is ‘best present’

A photo of one of the Manchester Arena bombing victims, Martyn Hett, wearing a white t-shirt and dungerees with one strap, smiling outside a street corner.

New legislation is set to tighten security at all UK venues in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack, named after victim Martyn Hett.

Martyn’s Law – named after the 29-year-old who lost his life in the terrorist atrocity – will require all UK venues to implement preventative action plans against terror attacks.

These new protective methods come after the 2017 bombing during an Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people.

Since then, Hett’s mother, Figen Murray, has campaigned for protocols that would reduce the chance of something similar happening again.

In a statement, prime minister Rishi Sunak said he was committed to working with Murray to deliver “vital legislation to honour Martyn’s memory and all those affected by terrorism.”

“The way the city of Manchester came together as a community in the wake of the cowardly Manchester Arena attack, and the amazing work of campaigners like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to us all,” Sunak said.

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He added that the bill’s draft is due in early spring.

Two people crouched down writing messages of solidarity in chalk surrounded by flowers.
People pay touching tributes to those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena bombing. (Getty)

The law would follow a tiered model that would change depending on the size of an expected audience during live events.

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For example, a standard tier – which would apply to events with more than 100 expected attendees – would require low-cost effective measures such as training, information sharing, and completion of a preparedness plan.

As the number of attendees increases, so does the tier, which in turn requires further preventative methods, such as additional risk assessments and the development of security plans.

Additionally, the government will establish routine inspections that will provide guidance and enforce sanctions if breaches are spotted.

In a statement on the day after her son would have celebrated his 35th birthday, Murray said: “The government taking this seriously and promising to act is the best birthday present I could have asked for.

“I hope that this law will now be introduced in the current session of parliament so we can get this done as soon as possible,” she continued.

“It is vital we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible.”

Coronation Street pays tribute to Martyn Hett

On the fifth anniversary of the 22 May 2017 bombing, the ITV soap Coronation Street paid a touching tribute to Martyn Hett – who was a super fan of the show.

The 20 May episode saw rival characters Gail Rodwell and Eileen Grimshaw put their differences aside to commemorate those who died in the attack.

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The characters, both clutching bouquets, looked upon a plaque on a bench in a local garden, which read: “For Martyn and all those who lost their lives on the 22nd of May 2017. We stand together.”

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