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Bereaved mum begins 200 mile walk from Manchester Arena to Downing Street urging PM to keep his promise to make country safer


The bereaved mother of Martyn Hett, one of 22 innocent people killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack, will set off today for a nearly 200 mile walk from the Manchester Arena to 10 Downing Street. 

Figen Murray OBE will be joined by family, friends, politicians, security industry experts, and members of the public over 16 days as she urges the Prime Minister to act on his promises to improve the safety and security of public spaces across the UK by introducing counter terrorism legislation known as Martyn’s Law. 

Martyn’s Law, officially known as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, will place proportionate security measures and annual training requirements on businesses and public venues with a capacity over 100 people. Those venues with a capacity between 100-799 people will be subject to standard tier requirements, and those with a capacity of 800+ will be placed in the enhanced tier. 

Figen will start the walk on the spot where Martyn was killed and will deliver a statement alongside Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and the former counter-terror Chief Superintendent, Nick Aldworth, as well as contributions from Martyn’s friends Russell Hayward and Mikey Keating.

Over the 16 days, Figen will walk 186 miles and will visit the sites of terror attacks to pay her respects,including The Glad of Light in Manchester, the 7/7 Memorial in London and Westminster Bridge. She will arrive at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday 22 May, the seventh anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack. 

It comes as Figen has written to the Prime Minister asking him to meet her when she arrives at Downing Street on 22 May and to name a date when the Government's draft law will come to the House of Commons.

Despite reassurances and commitments made by multiple Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State over the last five years, Martyn’s Law has still not been introduced to parliament. 

Figen has been campaigning for improvements to the safety of public spaces, supported by experts and activists including former counter-terror Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, and Brendan Cox, co-founder of Survivor’s Against Terror, for years – pledging to walk to Downing Street if that’s what it takes to get Martyn’s Law on the statute books. 

Figen Murray OBE said:

“My life changed overnight when my son, Martyn, was killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack. 

“Martyn’s death could have been avoided if there were basic security measures in place that night and that is why I have been tirelessly campaigning to ensure no parent experiences the pain and loss that I endure daily. 

“I am walking from the spot where my son died to 10 Downing Street to remind the Prime Minister of his commitment to introduce legislation that will improve security and protections at public venues.

The campaign for Martyns Law has already been a long journey, I hope this walk is the final leg. All I am asking is for the PM to keep his promise”

The co-founder of Survivor’s Against Terror, Brendan Cox said:

“Government’s first duty is keeping us safe. The fact that the government knows that there are dangerous terror loopholes and has promised to fill them, yet hasn’t been able to find parliamentary time for its own bill is simply not good enough.”

Former counter-terror Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, said: 

“As a former senior police officer, I’m not a natural campaigner and I never thought I’d be joining a protest march from Manchester to London. But if you knew as much about the terror threat as I do, you’d also do whatever it takes to get Martyn’s Law over the line.”

Martyn’s Law was first committed to in the Conservative Manifesto in 2019. Since then there has been: 

  • A public consultation on the standard and enhanced tier requirements, which found seven out of 10 members of the public and more than half of the security industry support the proposed legislation.
  • Been scrutinised by the Home Affairs Select Committee in March 2023
  • A further public consultation on the standard tier requirements in February 2024

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