Mother of Manchester Arena attack victim to walk to Downing Street to demand new security law

"I don't want other people to be like me with their child's ashes on a bookshelf at home."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 18th April 2024

The mother of a Manchester Arena attack victim is to walk from Manchester to Downing Street to demand a new security law.

Figen Murray OBE, whose son, Martyn Hett, was one of the 22 victims that sadly lost their life during the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, has been tirelessly campaigning for the introduction of new legislation that tightens security protocols at public venues across the UK for several years now – but this will be her biggest challenge yet.

On 7 May, she plans to set off from the place where Martyn died in Manchester city centre, and walk all the way to Downing Street.

Her expected arrival in London on 22 May will be both the seventh anniversary of the horrific attack, and of her son’s death.

The legislation Ms Murray is campaigning for the introduction of is known as ‘Martyn’s Law’, and it will require premises to fulfil what the Government has called “necessary but proportionate” steps, according to their capacity, to help keep the general public safe.


The law was approved in September 2022, but is still yet to be formally introduced.

A consultation was launched back in February to help work out the best way to introduce the law nationwide, and the public was invited to have their say on the proposals which sought to “scale-up preparedness for terrorist attacks” and make sure the public is protected – but this consultation closed on 18 March, and the results are said to be being considered by the Government, according to BBC reports.


Ms Murray is expected to be joined by Brendan Cox – the widower of MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016 – and Nick Aldworth, who is a former national counter-terrorism coordinator, on her march to Downing Street.

She will also pay her respects at the sites of a number of terror attacks along the way on her 200-mile journey.

Reflecting on it being almost five years on from the Government’s original commitment to ‘Martyn’s Law’ ahead of her walk to London, Ms Murray says she believes the fact that the draft legislation still hasn’t been tabled is “putting our country at risk”.


“No parent should have to experience the pain and loss I’ve felt,” Ms Murray told the BBC.

“I truly believe we have an opportunity to make public spaces safer and more secure by introducing Martyn’s Law.”

Following the closing of the public consultation on ‘Martyn’s Law’ last month, a Home Office spokesperson thanked Ms Murray for her “tireless support in the development of this vital reform”.

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The spokesperson’s statement continues: “We are reviewing the findings [of the public consultation] to ensure all feedback is fully considered, and working to finalise the legislation with a view to introducing it as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

Featured Image – Figen Murray / BBC