Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill backs Tobias Ellwood's study into suicide rates among military veterans

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill says he backs Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood beginning a study into suicide rates among military veterans.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 8:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 9:07 am
Robert Goodwill has backed Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood over his investigation into suicide rates among former servicepeople.

Currently, a row is rumbling on within the government, with the MoJ’s stance clashing with that of the Ministry of Defence, after Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood announced the government would begin a study into suicide rates among veterans who previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And Mr Goodwill is backing the Defence Minister.

"There will be means and ways of finding out if they are (former military)," he said.

"There may be some issues with regards GDPR and the handling of personal data - whether coroners could access those records I'm not sure, but another way is to just ask the family and they should be able to tell the coroners.

"What he do have in Scarborough are a number of charities that are excellent in helping out people who are struggling, such as FirstLight Trust and Heroes Welcome."

Last week, former Army Major John Senior slammed the Ministry of Justice, calling it a cop-out following the outcome of a JPI Media investigation into military veteran suicides.

“It seems to me to be a cop out,” he said. “It’s easy enough to find out if a man or a woman has served or not.

“It would seem, to me, to be a very simple tick in the box question. All service records are kept, why would that be difficult? Other than in extreme cases, the service records are available, so why would it be a problem? I don’t understand it.”