THE death of a severely disabled Dorset resident who took her own life while battling the bedroom tax left her MP “absolutely distraught”.

Annette Brooke, MP for Mid-Dorset and North Poole said that she felt compelled to stand up and speak in a House of Commons debate after supporting one of her constituents, who she did not want to name, during a 10-year battle over disability and housing benefits.

Mrs Brooke said the woman who was an accident victim and was left severely disabled after an operation went wrong, killed herself after being turned down for discretionary housing benefit.

“Every bit of the way she had to fight. There’s no way that you could say that the bedroom tax was the sole factor of her death but just to get the message that they are being turned down for housing and she did need the extra room because of all the equipment she needed.

“She was so disabled that she needed a taxi to get anywhere and going out even once a week was quite expensive for her.

“The housing association was fantastic, so we were working together and I think we would have won but it’s not surprising that she got depressed from it all.”

She was speaking during the Second Reading of the Affordable Homes private members bill, submitted by fellow Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George.

This aims to introduce three new significant exemptions to the spare room subsidy, excluding all claimants who have not been offered reasonable alternative accommodation, certain disabled people living in adapted accommodation and some in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment who are unable to share a bedroom.

“I wanted to really make the point that this is the human side of it, that this is somebody who was fighting every day to cope, and it was just the last straw,” said Mrs Brooke.