The sister of a mentally ill man who starved to death in David Cameron's constituency after his benefits were wrongly cut has accused the Government of "killing the very vulnerable", as official figures emerged suggesting dozens of people could have died in similar circumstances.
Freedom of Information requests by the Disability News Service revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has investigated decisions made about welfare payments following the deaths of 60 people since 2012 – the first time the DWP has tacitly admitted there could be a link.
However, campaigners believe the number of deaths could be far higher, claiming the changes to benefit rules have amounted to "passive euthanasia".
A public meeting in Witney in Oxfordshire on Thursday will hear from the sisters of two men who died after their benefits were cut, Mark Wood, 44 and David Clapson, 59. Mr Wood, who had a number of mental health problems, was found starved to death last year after his benefits were reduced to £40 a week because he was deemed fit for work. A government review later found that this decision had been a mistake.
The Prime Minister has said his death was "tragic" and pledged to "help find the answers to make sure that lessons are learnt". However, Mr Wood's sister Cathie Wood, 49, said she felt that members of the Government believed "these people aren't worth having around".