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Contaminated Blood Inquiry

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

What recent progress he has made on the NHS contaminated blood inquiry.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I am pleased that the inquiry is now hearing evidence. Sir Brian Langstaff is right to put those who have been infected, and affected, at the heart of his inquiry, and I am glad that their voices are being heard. They have been waiting for too long.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

The Minister is absolutely right, but with one victim dying every 96 hours and compensation still not being paid, I wrote to the Prime Minister, along with seven Opposition party leaders, to ask for compensation to be paid now. The Prime Minister has refused. I then wrote to the two Conservative party leadership candidates on 21 June, because they are making huge spending commitments, but I have not had the courtesy of a response. Perhaps the Minister could help me with that.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I am happy to try to prompt a response to the hon. Lady’s letter. She will know that the Department of Health and Social Care has announced a major uplift in the financial support available to beneficiaries of the infected blood scheme in England, and talks are now going on with the devolved Governments about trying to get a UK-wide agreement. Questions of legal liability fall therefore to compensation and are expressly a matter for the independent inquiry.[This section has been corrected on 22 July 2019, column 12MC — read correction]