Portsmouth MP accuses Theresa May of ‘turning a blind eye’ to veteran suicides

PORTSMOUTH MP Stephen Morgan has voiced his frustration with the prime minister following her response to his ongoing campaign on veteran suicides.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 7:06 pm
Prime minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire

The Labour MP for Portsmouth South asked prime minister Theresa May whether coroners in the UK will start officially recording veteran suicides.

Speaking at prime minister’s questions, Mr Morgan told the PM that Britain’s allies in the Second World War have all started to record veteran suicides, and that the UK should follow suit.

He said: ‘Our allies in World War Two – Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US – have taken steps to ensure that coroners record suicide amongst the veteran community.

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‘Prime minister, why won’t we?’

Responding to the Portsmouth MP, Theresa May said that she will be writing to him at a later date, but gave no more information than that.

She said: ‘He [Stephen Morgan] has raised a specific issue in relation to the coroners’ reports and I will write to him in response to that.’

Mr Morgan says that this ‘disregard' for the welfare of armed forces veterans is the opposite of what he wants to see.

‘This government must stop turning a blind eye to veteran suicide,’ he said.

‘Without a quantifiable record, it is impossible to understand the scale of the problem. Our brave ex-service people are being let down.

‘In response to my question, the prime minister’s government has again kicked the can down the road and refused to offer any glimmer of an answer.

‘There has been enough talk on this issue now. We need to see action.’

Stephen James, an armed forces veteran and co-founder of All Call Signs – which works to support ex-service personnel – believes the government is spinning its wheels on the issue.

He said: ‘We are grateful to our MP for again raising this pressing issue in parliament.

‘These changes were promised around last year’s November remembrance service, here we are at D-Day still without progress.

‘I would urge the government to stop wasting time and commit to implementing these much-needed changes.’