The Conservative Government has resisted all efforts to secure independent inquiries into its sanctions regime in the past, and there is no reason to believe this will be any different.
It’s a strange attitude, isn’t it, from a government that, defending its own “Snooper’s Charter”, tells people they have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide?
Perhaps the only conclusion we can draw from this obstructiveness is that Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron do have something to hide.
Law firm Leigh Day are calling for a full and public investigation into the death of a 59-year-old ex-soldier who died in 2013 after he was ‘sanctioned’ by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).
David Clapson was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Signals serving in Belfast at the height of the troubles before leaving the army to work for BT. After working for the telecommunications firm for 16 years he became a carer for his elderly mother.
According to his sister Gill Thompson, David was a proud and private man who found asking for help very difficult. David also suffered Type 1 Diabetes and relied on regular insulin shots to survive.
He died in July 2013 from fatal diabetic ketoacidosis which occurs when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy, and the body starts to break down other body tissue as an alternative energy source.
The Department for Work and Pensions had sanctioned him for a month, leaving him without electricity and food having stopped his £71.70 Job Seekers Allowance after he failed to attend two appointments.
David’s sister, Gill Thompson has now started a crowd funding campaign in an attempt to secure an Inquest into her brother’s death to investigate whether the benefit sanctions contributed to David suffering fatal ketoacidosis.
Merry Varney from the law firm Leigh Day who is representing Ms Thompson in her fight for an inquest into her brother’s death, said:
“David had a made a significant contribution to the wider public good, working in the Forces at a difficult time and later providing personal care for his elderly mother. At the time he needed support, he was made destitute for failing to attend a meeting.
“Managing Type 1 Diabetes requires good nutrition and regular insulin injections. Rendering a person unable to afford food and/or unable to chill their insulin is likely to have fatal consequences. David’s death must be investigated to make sure safeguards are in place to protect others and to establish whether the DWP knowingly cut off David’s lifeline.”
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