New legislation, dubbed the Martyn Law in memory of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett, will be introduced to provide greater protection against terrorism in public places.
Mr. Hett, 29, was one of 22 people killed in the attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.
The new rules, which Hett’s mother Figen Murray has long fought for, will cover the whole of the UK and require local branches and authorities to have preventive action plans in place against terrorist attacks, the government said .
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was committed to working with Ms Murray to improve security measures in public places, with the government expected to publish a draft law in early spring.
Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model related to the type of business you run and the size of the expected audience, and will seek to enhance the readiness of a venue without overburdening the business.
A standard level will apply to venues with a maximum capacity of more than 100 people. Locations will need to take effective, low-cost steps such as training, sharing information, and completing a readiness plan.
An advanced level will focus on high capacity positions. Those that can hold 800 or more people will need to carry out an additional risk assessment which will inform the development and implementation of a comprehensive safety plan.
The government will also set up an inspection and enforcement regime, issue penalties for violations, and provide tailored legal guidance and support.
Ms Murray said she had received word of what would have been Mr Hett’s 35th birthday.
“I got a call from Rishi Sunak himself on Thursday morning which was incredible because it was actually Martyn’s 35th birthday,” she said.
“The Prime Minister knew about the birthday so he mentioned it in the beginning which was quite nice of him.
“I told him it was the best birthday present I could have hoped for for Martyn.”
He added that his son would be “pink tickled” if he were here to learn about the legislation.
“It would be tickled pink, I would say, it would be really touching,” she said.
“But I think, on a more serious note, he would be really pleased that something as important as this kind of legislation, on his behalf, will save lives in the future.”
Praising Ms Murray’s campaign, Mr Sunak said: “The way the city of Manchester has come together as a community in the wake of the cowardly attack on the Manchester Arena and the incredible work of activists like Figen Murray who have dedicated their life to make us more confident and promote kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to all of us.
“I pledge to work with Figen to improve security measures in public places and spaces and to deliver this vital legislation to honor the memory of Martyn and all those affected by terrorism.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman thanked Ms Murray and her campaign for their “tireless efforts”.
“Protecting the public from harm is a core responsibility of any government. The terrorist threat we face is diverse and constantly evolving, which is why this legislation is so important.
“I would like to thank Figen Murray and the Martyn’s Law campaign for their support in developing this vital reform.
“Their tireless efforts have helped inform our approach, and the heartbreaking stories of survivors and their families constantly remind us why we must maintain this commitment to work together to improve public safety.”
Brendan Cox, widower of slain MP Jo Cox and co-founder of Survivors Against Terror, also praised Ms Murray for her “passion and determination” to bring Martyn’s law to fruition.
He wrote on Twitter: “He has turned his loss into a legacy that will make us all safer.
“Of course this law will not stop all terrorist attacks. But it will make it harder for terrorists to find easy targets and lessen the impact of attacks by ensuring public places have a plan.”