A YORK MP has pressed the Government for answers about delays to new laws designed to help ease the anguish for families of missing people.

The Presumption of Death Act, giving relatives greater ability to deal with the affairs of those who have disappeared - which Peter Lawrence, father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence, has campaigned for - has been held up, with the issue being raised in the House of Commons by York Outer MP Julian Sturdy.

The Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, saying he would find out what steps are being taken to bring the Act into force.

Mr Sturdy - who has also written to the Justice Minister Simon Hughes about progress on the Act - said: "Currently, it is difficult if not impossible for families to make decisions about the missing person's estate and I hope the common sense proposals will be implemented soon to make the lives of grieving relatives that little bit easier."