Manchester Arena attack: Mum says OBE would have thrilled son

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Figen MurrayImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Ms Murray showed off both her OBE and her #BeMoreMartyn tattoo after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace

The mother of a man who was killed in the Manchester Arena attack has said he "would be really very thrilled" for her as she was made an OBE.

Figen Murray's son Martyn Hett was one of 22 people who died in the May 2017 attack and she has since campaigned for better security in public places.

She has also graduated with a Master's in counter-terrorism and spoken to 20,000 children about radicalisation.

She said she was in a position to "break the cycle of hate by forgiving".

Image source, family handout
Image caption,
Mr Hett was one of 22 people killed by a suicide bomber after a concert at the arena on 22 May 2017

Asked about her motivations for her campaigning, she said that after Mr Hett's death, "I could have gone under but that wouldn't have been the right answer".

"I could have been angry; I chose to forgive," she said.

"And I think it's really important to stay positive because I have other children to care for and look after and consider.

"I'm married, I have a husband, I'm a sibling; I wouldn't have functioned in all those roles had I given in to anger and hate."

She added that she also felt that "as somebody who has been directly affected through terrorism, I was in a position through my personal resilience to actually break the cycle of hate by forgiving" and it was "really important to me to do that".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Ms Murray said there was "still a lot of work to be done" on the Protect Duty Bill, which is also known as Martyn's Law

She said she was continuing to work with the government on the Protect Duty Bill, the legislation that was announced in May's Queen's Speech which has been referred to as Martyn's Law in honour of her son.

She said that, although getting Martyn's Law passed was "taking a long time", it was more important that "they take their time and work out all the details of the legislation and get it right than rush it through and then (say), 'this it's not working, it's not workable'".

"There's still a lot of work to be done and I'm pleased to say that the government is really good at working with us... so that's progressing nicely," she added.

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