THE father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence says he is frustrated at the Government's lack of action on a new law to help families of missing people.

Almost a year ago, the Government announced changes to the current guardianship law which would make it easier for families to deal with the property and financial affairs of their missing family members.

Today is Claudia's 42nd birthday and Peter Lawrence said he would be marking it privately.

He said: "On Saturday, I will be thinking very much about her, we all will be."

But he said he was frustrated by the lack of legal progress.

The proposed changes will make it easier for families to deal with absent family members' property and financial affairs, such as allowing them to suspend direct debits, mobile phone and utility bills, or mortgage payments.

Mr Lawrence and the charity Missing People campaigned for the changes, which were proposed last March with the intention they would be passed through the Houses and Commons and Lords, but almost a year on, there has been no movement.

He said he was "stunned" when he was contacted by the Minister of State for Civil Justice prior to last year's announcement, but despite many letters and emails since, he had received no update since September.

He said: "It's extremely frustrating. I'm convinced it's just lost priority. We've still got the same Prime Minister, and it's still the same minister responsible for this legislation, Lord Faulks QC, so they can't really claim it's a change of Government, it's just lost priority, clearly.

"I have written to him (Lord Faulks QC) and David Cameron and the civil servant who is leading it at the Ministry of Justice, and all I got is 'we will bring it forward when there is Parliamentary time', but they haven't even settled on draft bill yet, so really that's a cop out. It's not going to take up much Parliamentary time like the presumption of death bill, which took two hours to go through both houses."

On Tuesday, Mr Lawrence will travel to Parliament to speak with MPs and push for the changes to be implemented and help the 2,500 families in the UK who have people go missing each year.

He said: "So many people need it, I can't see any excuses for not bringing it forward. If David Cameron brings himself up here on a journey round the country on Europe, I will tell him there's something that's at least as important.

"The difference will mean being able to deal with bank accounts in a way we take for granted. Can't do anything with insurances, investments, bank accounts, the things we do day to day but can't do without legislation. People are losing thousands of pounds and almost losing properties sometimes unless family chip in and it's just crazy. I've met people in that position."