Britain’s first ever Minister for Suicide Prevention joked about jumping off Beachy Head
- Jackie Doyle-Price appointed to the post in what is believed to be a world-first
- In 2014 she quipped that she would rather jump off Beachy Head than join Ukip
- Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can call the Samaritans on 116 123
Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price (file picture) will lead the national effort to improve suicide prevention despite her earlier comments about Beachy Head
Britain’s first ever Suicide Prevention Minister joked about jumping off Beachy head, it today emerged.
Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price to the post last night in what is believed to be a world-first.
Mrs Doyle-Price, a Health Minister, will lead the national effort and try to end the stigma which stops people from seeking help.
But in a revelation that will spark questions about her appointment, it today emerged that she quipped about jumping off the notorious suicide spot.
Speaking in 2014, the Tory MP for Thurrock said she would ‘rather jump off Beachy Head’ than defect to Ukip.
Her remark came amid reports that she was one of the Conservatives who was ready to defect to the party at the time.
Her local newspaper, the Thurrock Gazette, asked her about the possibility that she could walk out of the Tory Party.
She told them: ‘I would sooner jump off Beachy Head than join Ukip.
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‘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.
‘This country cannot afford another Labour Government.’
Her comments resurfaced this morning, on World Mental Health Day, and just hours after her new appointment was announced by the Prime Minister.
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.
Theresa May (pictured in the House of Commons today wearing a green ribbon to mark Mental Health Day) appointed Jackie Doyle-Price to the post last night in what is believed to be a world-first
Commenting on her appointment, Mrs Doyle-Price, whose title is now Minister for Mental Health, Inequalities and Suicide Prevention, said: ‘I understand how tragic, devastating and long-lasting the effect of suicide can be on families and communities.
‘In my time as health minister I have met many people who have been bereaved by suicide and their stories of pain and loss will stay with me for a long time.
‘It’s these people who need to be at the heart of what we do and I welcome this opportunity to work closely with them, as well as experts, to oversee a cross-Government suicide prevention plan, making their sure their views are always heard.’
MailOnline has contacted Mrs Doyle-Price’s office for comment.
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