Second Reading

Part of Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 1:32 pm on 11th December 2009.

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Photo of Lord Morris of Manchester Lord Morris of Manchester Labour 1:32 pm, 11th December 2009

My Lords, I am deeply grateful to every participant in the debate, by no means least to my noble friend whose challenging task it was to respond. All the points raised today can be considered as proceedings on the measure go forward. A working group of the type suggested by the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, could well be appointed to work alongside the statutory committee for which Clause 1 would provide; indeed, that committee could itself set up such a working group. Meanwhile, I much agree with the noble Baroness that we must look forward and plan, not simply react to problems.

On the question of the reappearance of the 5,000 documents that were shredded "inadvertently" by an unnamed official at the Department of Health, what happened was that copies of the documents were found in the office of a Scottish legal firm, but too late for the noble Lord and learned, Lord Archer, to take account of in the report of his inquiry. It was the first case in history that shredded documents have had a second coming. Long may they be kept under lock and key, especially at the Department of Health.

There are other Bills awaiting the attention of the House and, in fairness to their promoters, I conclude there.

Bill read a second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.