A LONG-RUNNING campaign for murderers who refuse to reveal their victim's whereabouts has succeeded as 'Helen's law' was included in the Queen's Speech in Parliament today.

The monarch delivered her speech outlining the government’s legislative agenda in the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament today (Monday).

St Helens Star:

The Queen arrives through the Norman Porch for the State Opening of Parliament

During the speech, the Queen said: ''Proposals will be brought forward to ensure that victims receive the support they need and the justice they deserve. Laws will be introduced to ensure that the parole system recognises the pain to victims and their families caused by offenders refusing to disclose information relating to their crimes [Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill].''

This marks a victory for a campaign by Marie McCourt, whose daughter Helen was murdered more than 31 years ago though her body has never been found.

George and Dragon pub landlord Ian Simms was jailed for the crime in 1989 but has never admitted what he did or where Helen’s body is.

Helen's Law will place a legal duty on the Parole Board to reflect the failure to disclose the site of a victim’s remains when considering a prisoner’s suitability for release.

The move follows the unwavering campaign of Helen’s mother, Marie McCourt, to see the law changed and comes after recent meetings with St Helens North MP Conor McGinn and former Justice Secretary David Gauke.

Mr McGinn has expressed hope that on this issue MPs across all parties in the House of Commons will unite in making sure Helen’s Law passes quickly and unanimously.

St Helens Star:

Conor McGinn MP

Mr McGinn said today: "It was very moving to hear Her Majesty the Queen announce that legislation will be brought forward which means Helen's Law will finally be introduced.

"This victory belongs to Marie McCourt, her husband John, their family and all the families who campaigned over many years. I also salute the people of Billinge and St Helens who have supported our campaign.

"I am so proud to call Marie a friend, and absolutely delighted that her dignity, tenacity and just cause has been recognised by the government."