THE FATHER of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence has welcomed MPs support for a new law carrying her name.
The Bill to create Claudia’s Law will now be debated by the Lords after clearing the Commons.
Officially known as the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill, the measure would allow family members or trusted individuals right to deal with a missing person’s financial affairs in their absence.
Ms Lawrence, a chef working at York University, disappeared in March 2009. Her disappearance is the subject of an ongoing murder investigation.
Claudia’s father, Peter Lawrence, said: “Thousands of families throughout the UK will benefit from the introduction of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill and I hope that having today passed from the Commons to the Lords it will have a speedy passage there, attain Royal Assent and be enacted as soon as possible thereafter.”
The Bill to create Claudia’s Law has been championed by Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.
Today MPs agreed to send the Bill to the Lords following a short debate in the Commons.
Mr Hollinrake said: “I am so pleased that this bill has been so well supported. I know it will make a huge difference to the families of loved ones who have gone missing.
“I am especially pleased for Mr and Mrs Lawrence whose daughter has been missing for eight years now, in using the term Claudia’s Law as a tribute to her I hope it acknowledges their valuable input to making this bill happen.
“I hope this will help make their lives a little easier and those of the thousands of other families who have missing relatives.”
He said the Bill had been the product of a “collective effort” including the Missing People charity and Yorkshire MP colleagues Nigel Adams and Julian Sturdy.
Mr Hollinrake is pressing for the law change through a private member’s Bill which has earned the support of the Government.
Speaking in the Commons, Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said praised Mr Hollinrake for his work.
He said: “I’m grateful to all those families affected by disappearance who have shared their experiences in public to help raise awareness of the need for reform and particularly Peter Lawrence.
“The letter of the law will call this Bill the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill but I know as [Mr Hollinrake] said, that this Bill will always be known as Claudia’s Law.”