An open letter to
Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP

Updated: 21 October 2021

In July 2021, families who lost loved ones in cases where the DWP has been implicated in their death, wrote to the Secretary of State, Thérèse Coffey to demand a public inquiry into deaths and serious harm linked to the benefits system. Three months on and they have had no response so all five families have written again to the Secretary of State. You can read their letter below.

Dear Secretary of State,

Three months ago, we wrote to you as bereaved families calling for an urgent public inquiry into deaths and serious harm related to the benefit system.  Three months ago, the Prime Minster was personally asked if he would meet with a group of families who had been affected. 

We have had no response to our letter. The Prime Minister did not respond to the request to meet with families.

Each day that goes by, more families risk being failed as ours have been.  We will not sit by and let that happen, so we are writing again to you and have invited others who are concerned to add their voices to this call.  

We need a full public inquiry to learn the truth about what has happened.  And we need a new, independent body to investigate future cases. 

Until those steps have been taken, we have no confidence that your department either understands the problem or considers it a priority it to stop more people being harmed. 

Please meet with us and take urgent action to show that you are doing all that you can to make the system you are responsible more humane and transparent.  

Yours sincerely,

Imogen Day, sister of Philippa Day (Philippa died in 2019)
Leanne Dooley, daughter of Kevin Dooley (Kevin died in 2018)
Joy Dove, mother of Jodey Whiting (Jodey died in 2017)
Trudi Johnson, sister of Clive Johnson (Clive died in 2017)
Alison Burton, wife of Errol Graham’s son (Errol died in 2018)



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