The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill is one step closer to becoming law today when it passed through its Third Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill, dubbed Claudia’s Law, to highlight the case of Claudia Lawrence from York who went missing in 2009, was introduced into Parliament by Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, Kevin Hollinrake, in January. This week is the 8th Anniversary of her disappearance.
The purpose is to give family and trusted ones the right to handle the missing person’s financial affairs from 90 days after they go missing. This would mean that mortgage payments and utility bills and other financial commitments can be managed in their absence, which would help reduce the pressure on family and friends at a terribly difficult time.
“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. I thank them all for their support and that of the charity, Missing People, who represent them so well. I am also grateful to my colleagues Nigel Adams MP and Julian Sturdy MP for their work on this. The Guardianship Bill has been the product of a collective effort and I am honoured to have been part of the process to get this law into the statute books. ”
The Bill will now go to the Lords and should receive Royal Assent before the end of this Parliament.