Four opposition parties have called for a public enquiry into benefits-related deaths, but the Labour party is not one of them.

The letter to the new secretary of state for work and pensions, Chloe Smith, appeared on the Rethink website earlier this month.

It points out that there has been an almost threefold increase in the number of Internal Process Reviews being conducted by the department into death or serious harm in recent years.

But the authors say that they believe that many more cases are being missed. 

In particular, they point out that there is only an average of one inquiry a month into serious harm, rather than death. This represents 21% of all inquiries.  Yet it is likely, the letter points out, that “Far more people experience mental health crisis, self-harm or suicide attempts than die by suicide”.

The letter calls for a public inquiry and, in the meantime, “to make investigations into these serious incidents more effective, transparent and accountable.”

The letter is signed by:

  • Kirsty Blackman  MP, Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Scottish National Party
  • Wendy Chamberlain, Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Liberal Democrats
  • Hywel Williams, Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Plaid Cymru
  • Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party

There is no signatory from the Labour Party.

You can read the full letter here.


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    lesley · 1 years ago
    Jeremy Corbyn was and still is my hero.  I have met him, he is a very genuine and caring person.
    A friend of mine, who eventually very sadly died by suicide, organised a campaign event to the Village of Imber in the middle of Salisbury Plains.  My dear Ruth, she wanted to open a peace centre there.  She was an Islington resident. During the morning of the campaign, who should cycle across Salisbury Plains on his bicycle and come to her event to support her, but Jeremy Corbyn?  He must have caught the train from London and then cycled to Imber.  I have always had a great respect for him.  Don't know if you realise, labour is not even an opposition party any more.  Perhaps that is why they did not sign the letter??
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    David · 1 years ago
    Stamer is a closet tory
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    Aw · 1 years ago
    I will vote Labour as they are the party in my area who can beat the Tories. However I must say I have lost faith in them as a party who cares about me. Corbyn was clear, he was going to scrap the bedroom tax, reinstate full CTB, stop private assessments and even scrap UC. I felt under him, we would be ok. Now Starmer has put Yvette Cooper, the architect of the WCA and Rachel Reeves who once infamously said "Labour will never be the party for those on benefits" on his front bench. He has said nothing about helping us and now he says nothing about saving our very lives. I am politically homeless as well as potentially literally so if they sit back and do nothing for us.
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      george · 1 years ago
      @Aw Feel exactly the same as above poster , i am a labour voter and member since jeremy  Corbyn made me too feel there could be a better life out there for ALL , but i do not like starmer and did not vote for him either , but alas if we want the rich Tory self serving  brigade out then labour are the alternative at the moment with enough votes to win i think .
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