Colo­nial­ism classes

Coventry Telegraph - - NATIONAL - Jackie Doyle-Price

CHIL­DREN should be taught more about the legacy of the Bri­tish Em­pire, colo­nial­ism and the slave trade, Jeremy Cor­byn will say.

The Labour leader is call­ing for schools to give pupils a greater aware­ness of the role played by black Bri­tons in shap­ing the coun­try’s his­tory.

Mr Cor­byn will to­day set out plans for an Eman­ci­pa­tion Ed­u­ca­tional Trust aimed at ed­u­cat­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions about slav­ery and the strug­gle to end the trade. THE min­is­ter ap­pointed by Theresa May to over­see sui­cide pre­ven­tion ef­forts once joked about throw­ing her­self off a cliff, it has emerged.

Jackie Doyle-Price told a lo­cal news­pa­per that she would “sooner jump off Beachy Head” than join the Euroscep­tic party Ukip.

The com­ment was branded “in­ap­pro­pri­ate” and “un­ac­cept­able” by a se­nior Labour spokesman.

Among the Thur­rock MP’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as min­is­ter for sui­cide pre­ven­tion will be to try to end the stigma which pre­vents peo­ple from seek­ing help.

Ms Doyle-Price spoke to the Thur­rock Gazette in 2014 to deny ru­mours that she might fol­low Clac­ton MP Dou­glas Car­swell in de­fect­ing to Ukip.

She said then: “I would sooner jump off Beachy Head than join Ukip.

“I am a Con­ser­va­tive. I have never run away from a fight and I am not go­ing to start now. The stakes are too high.”

Around 20 peo­ple a year kill them­selves by throw­ing them­selves from the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head in East Sus­sex, and pa­trols are car­ried out in the area in the hope of dis­suad­ing peo­ple from jump­ing.

Asked about Ms Doyle-Price’s com­ments, a se­nior Labour spokesman said: “Any com­ment which in­creases stigma or dis­re­spect or lack of un­der­stand­ing for men­tal health is­sues – in par­tic­u­lar in this case men­tal health is­sues and sui­cide – is ob­vi­ously com­pletely in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Th­ese kinds of com­ments are un­ac­cept­able.”

A Down­ing Street source said he was not aware of the com­ments, but added: “There is a se­ri­ous job she will be tak­ing for­ward in this very im­por­tant new po­si­tion.

“She will have ac­cess to some of the nearly £12 bil­lion that we al­ready spend on men­tal health in this coun­try and will want to en­sure that ser­vices im­prove fur­ther to make sure that peo­ple in vul­ner­a­ble sit­u­a­tions get the sup­port they need.”

The con­tro­versy over her 2014 re­mark has over­shad­owed the news of Ms DoylePrice’s ap­point­ment as what is thought to be the world’s first min­is­ter for sui­cide pre­ven­tion, an­nounced by Theresa May on World Men­tal Health Day yes­ter­day.

Around 4,500 peo­ple take their lives ev­ery year in Eng­land and sui­cide re­mains the lead­ing cause of death among men un­der the age of 45.

The Prime Min­is­ter has also pledged up to £1.8 mil­lion to en­sure the Sa­mar­i­tans’ helpline re­mains free for the next four years, to help those most in need.

Labour said a fo­cus on sui­cide pre­ven­tion was “long over­due” and warned that a lack of fund­ing had forced peo­ple to wait months for treat­ment in some ar­eas.

Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock said the sui­cide rate it at its low­est for seven years, although each is a tragic but “pre­ventable” death.

“We need to do more to chal­lenge the stigma that peo­ple with men­tal ill-health face and make sure they feel they can reach out for help,” he said.

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