I seek leave to propose that the House should debate a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration—namely, the need for the Government to establish an independent public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal, which is the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. In his valedictory speech to this House on
“by the time the House rises for the summer recess, I will refer my evidence to the police”.—[Official Report,
Vol. 624, c. 1081.]
The then Under-Secretary of State for Health—the former Member for Oxford West and Abingdon—asked him to submit his dossier of evidence to the Health Secretary, which he did. She assured the House that the Secretary of State would give it “the highest priority”. However, we have heard nothing since then, and we now have further unanswered questions that underline the need for an emergency debate.
First, the Daily Mail set out evidence last week that officials knew, as early as 1980, that 50 people with haemophilia a year were being infected with hepatitis C. Nothing was done about this for five years. Secondly, it has been reported in The Sunday Times that, on Friday
We are now fast approaching the summer recess deadline, yet what little comment the Government have made has only added to the confusion and strengthened the case for an emergency debate. It would appear that the Secretary of State for Health has not considered the dossier, as was promised on
These recent developments have been extremely significant. The letter of
I have listened carefully to the application from the hon. Member, and I am satisfied that the matter raised by her is proper to be discussed under the terms of
Application agreed to.
The hon. Member has obtained the leave of the House. I can inform the House that the debate will be held tomorrow, Tuesday