Suicides highlight the grim toll of benefits sanctions in austerity Britain

Less than two years ago, 50-year-old David tried to take his own life in a council house in Salford. You can still see the scars when he stretches out his arm to light a roll-up cigarette.

“Everything just builds up after a while. I was walking around thinking where I was going to get money from, what [was] I going to do about the kids, how was I going to survive?” says David, as his two daughters sit quietly next to him on the sofa. “I’ve been through the bins and all sorts, trying to make ends meet. I’m not proud of it, but needs must at times.”

Tory councillor Mark Winn says food banks are only used by ‘those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems’

A Tory councillor has provoked a Twitter backlash after claiming that food banks are only visited by “those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems”.

Mark Winn, who is also a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence and until recently held an appointment on Buckinghamshire council’s health scrutiny committee, hit out at what he called “the BBC doing Labour’s bidding” after watching an episode of Casualty on Saturday night.