Angus Robertson, the Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has called on David Cameron to publish the conclusions of investigations into the suicides of 60 people who had their benefits cut or stopped.
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During prime minister’s questions (PMQs) in Parliament on Wednesday, Robertson said Cameron has “questions to answer.”
“The Department for Work and Pensions has undertaken 60 investigations into suicides that have occurred after benefits were withdrawn or reduced, but has so far refused to publish what it has learnt,” he said.
“The prime minister cannot ignore the coroner’s warning that there is a risk of further deaths,” Robertson added.
He also raised the case of Michael O’Sullivan, a 60-year-old disabled man from north London who committed suicide in 2013 after being wrongly found “fit for work” in an assessment.
The father-of-two had his benefits revoked, despite producing three separate doctors’ reports showing that he suffered from depression and agoraphobia.
— Catriona Matheson (@_cmatheson) October 21, 2015
In September, a coroner ruled that O’Sullivan’s death was triggered by anxiety caused by his experience with the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process.
In response to Robertson’s questioning, Cameron said: “Suicide is always a tragic and complex issue, we should take these matters incredibly seriously, I’ll look very carefully at the specific question he asked about publication, but we have changed the work capability assessment to lead to significant improvements following a number of independent reviews.”