MP updates on calls for funeral industry regulation after thanking police in top level meeting with Chief Constable

The MP who is leading calls for the regulation of the funeral industry said she is meeting government ministers every week as the investigation continues into the operations of a company in Hull.

Emma Hardy (left) with colleague Dame Diana Johnson and Humberside Chief Constable Paul Anderson at the force headquarters at Melton

Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said the government has promised a swift start to the process of inviting people to submit evidence. She added that the public reaction to the case of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors indicates there are many bereaved families seeking action.

Ms Hardy was speaking after meeting the Chief Constable of Humberside, Paul Anderson, with Hull North MP Dame Diana Johnson and the Shadow Policing Minister Alex Norris, who spent a day in Hull.

She said: “We thanked the Chief Constable for the brilliant work his team have done since they were alerted to the case. They have had a team of 100 working on it and all of them have really stepped up to the plate to deal with an unprecedented situation.

“We had a tour of the control room and the major incident room and we received a comprehensive briefing about how the investigation is being conducted. We can’t go into the detail of what was discussed but it is a huge investigation and the police are working tirelessly on behalf of the families who have been affected by this, many of whom are our constituents.

“I am in regular contact with the Chief Constable and his team and my job as MP for Hull West and Hessle is to push for regulation of the sector to try and ensure that something like this can never happen again.

“To that end I have been meeting with ministers every week since this matter emerged. The government has promised there will be a call for evidence imminently. It is clear from media reports over recent weeks that there are many families seeking answers.

“Having spoken to experts within the sector it’s clear that mortuaries and crematoriums are regulated but for some reason funeral directors are not. That’s a glaring omission which needs to be dealt with.”

Ms Hardy and Mr Norris also visited the Vulcan protect and Paul 4 Brain Recovery, both of which are working on crime prevention activities. In addition they met with Simon O’ Rourke, Labour’s candidate for the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election in Humberside, and with a UNISON representative of staff within Humberside Police.

Seb Glazer, who runs the Vulcan Centre in Hull, led a tour of the facilities which include boxing and weight training gyms, a hairdressing training salon and creative space for woodwork, graphic design and sound studios. Paul Spence told how his charity, Paul 4 Brain Recovery is delivering a new initiative to highlight the dangers of one punch and the possible consequences of antisocial behaviour.

Mr Norris said: “It was encouraging to see the work being carried out in the community with important activities which can steer people away from crime. Labour’s Young Future’s programme is about helping young people get off to a decent start in their lives by using sport and creativity and the arts and the visit to Vulcan gave us an example of how that might look in practice.

“The meeting with UNISON was also helpful given the loss of jobs elsewhere in the country which have resulted from the government’s mismanagement of the police service. Labour’s priority is to recruit 13,000 new police officers and police support officers and to move police away from crime counting and back to neighbourhood problem solving.

“But the visit was dominated by the discussion with the Chief Constable and we assured him of our support and gratitude for the sensitive way in which his team is working with bereaved families.”