Statement on passing of Peter Lawrence
February 15, 2021
I am incredibly saddened by the news of Peter Lawrence’s passing, and want to express my deepest sympathy to his family at this painful time. It is tragic to think he departed this life still not knowing the whereabouts of Claudia, and I will be thinking of the Lawrence family in the days ahead.
It is testament to Peter’s strength, determination and amazing selflessness that, having experienced what every parent most fears and something that would have broken many people, he threw himself not only into an unending hunt for Claudia, but also into tireless wider campaigning to improve legal provisions assisting the families of missing loved ones.
Working with the charity Missing People he fought to secure ‘Claudia’s law’, the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act, which came into force in July 2019. This law allows families to manage the financial and property affairs of a person that goes missing, doing something to ease the devastation and disruption imposed on families when this terrible event occurs.
It was a privilege to assist him in pressing the government to enact this over two years of campaigning. I feel he was taken before his time, but even so ‘Claudia’s law’ and his wider achievement in raising awareness of this issue means he leaves an enormous legacy, and our city and country are diminished by his loss. Nothing can repair the anguish of Claudia’s disappearance, but Peter Lawrence’s inspirational work has meant that other families that go through this appalling experience can at least do so with better tools and deeper official understanding.
It was an honour to have known him.