A LANDMARK new law for families of missing people has been passed in England and Wales.

The Presumption of Death Act comes after several years of campaigning by the charity Missing People.

It will create a new court procedure which can lead to the issue of a Certificate of Presumed Death and brings England and Wales in line with systems already in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The certificate creates a simpler legal framework to ensure bereaved people can better deal with the property and affairs of a loved one who has gone missing and is presumed dead.

Salisbury MP John Glen, who sponsored the bill, said: “I am delighted to have been able to play a part in getting this important piece of legislation through the Parliamentary process. “The Presumption of Death Act will help families of missing people, during what is an extremely difficult and painful period in their lives.

“It means legal issues can now be resolved without delay in a way that has not been possible to date.”