A NEW law to give families greater control over the affairs of missing people could be introduced next year in honour of Claudia Lawrence.

Claudia disappeared on her way to work at the University of York in March 2009. Her father, Peter has been campaigning with the Missing People charity for the introduction of Claudia’s Law – new guardianship legislation which would help families take control of loved ones’ financial and legal affairs.

Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake has said he will now present the bill to the Commons in January, via the 10-minute Rule Motion, which allows backbenchers to put forward legislation.

Mr Hollinrake said: “I am delighted that the Government has given time for this Bill as I believe it to be long overdue. When someone goes missing, their families are often unable to manage their affairs, such as keeping up with mortgages and overseeing direct debits, adding further anxiety and distress to an already traumatic situation.”

Martin Dales, Mr Lawrence’s friend and spokesman, said: “Peter has done well to keep the pressure on. It has been a long time coming, but the signs are now more positive and this bill will help a lot of families of missing people at a very difficult time.”