'This Cannot Continue': MP Reads Letter Describing Veteran's Mental Health Struggles

An MP held back tears whilst reading out a letter from the wife of a veteran who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan read out the letter as she called on ministers to take action to help veterans with mental health conditions.

In her first Commons speech since resigning from the Government over Theresa May's Brexit deal, the Berwick-upon-Tweed MP choked up as she read a constituent's letter detailing an ex-soldier's struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The letter from the constituent said the former soldier suffers from PTSD after his tour in Afghanistan in 2010 and that their marriage may be over after asking him to leave because of his "behaviour".

The letter also read that there is a "real risk" the former soldier could "self-harm to end his life".

Reading the letter, Ms Trevelyan, said: "His regiment, army and the government have abandoned us.

"My greatest fear is that this letter will be included one day as an exhibit in a bundle collated for a coroner, I have no voice but I know that this cannot continue."

Ms Trevelyan urged ministers to create a "military covenant ombudsman" to ensure veterans are receiving the correct support. She said: "I get too many of those, far too many of those and I imagine a number of other colleagues do.

"We do our best, the challenge is really to provide them with a voice. The minister cannot independently battle his way through the system and make every department suddenly behave as it should for these families.

"We need a covenant ombudsman, an organisation that sits outside any department that is authorised, that is empowered by Parliament to have that voice to fight wherever it's required for each of those families, because it cannot be right that we receive those letters that we cannot solve the problems."

This comes just days after a new veterans strategy was announced by the Ministry of Defence.

It identifies six areas where support for veterans is most needed over the next decade: community and relationships, employment and skills, health and well-being, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law.