Wednesday, 28 February 2018 16:30

DEBATE ON DEATHS ABROAD

FOREIGN OFFICE MUST DO MORE TO SUPPORT FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO DIE ABROAD
 

SNP MP Hannah Bardell has said that her adjournment debate at Westminster today is aimed at changing the way the UK government responds and supports families of UK nationals who die abroad.
 
The debate follows cases involving Hannah Bardell’s constituents -  and those of other MPS  – and also the wider concern from MPs about the response to these events by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It also marks the establishment of an All Party Parliamentary Group to work on the issue.
 
Hannah Bardell MP said in advance of the debate:     
 
‘’The death of a family member abroad is tragic, but trying to get support and engage with multiple agencies while in a state of shock and grief means additional stress and anxiety.

‘’I  have two constituents, who have died in suspicious circumstances abroad, and I know in detail the distressing challenges they have faced – and continue to face – in finding the truth and justice for their loved ones. I am supporting the families of Kirsty Maxwell, who fell to her death from a balcony in Benidorm and Julie Pearson who died following a brutal attack. I see day and daily the devastating impact of not getting information and having to fight every step of the way to get the most basic facts. This is not an acceptable or sustainable position.

‘’I am not the only MP who has constituents in similar situations, but I feel the time is right to both represent our constituents and challenge the system. What I hope to do with today’s debate, and by establishing a cross party group on Deaths Abroad, is effect positive change.

‘’Families are entitled to get help from their government and their country in their hour of need. However, when it turns out that there is really not much support that the FCO can practically offer, it feels like an even greater struggle, and that cannot be right.

‘’Losing a loved one abroad will always be devastating and difficult, but it can certainly be handled more compassionately and with a greater level of support at every step of the way. That is what I hope I can achieve with this debate and the work of the all party group at Westminster.’’

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