Contaminated Blood - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:04 pm on 29th January 2018.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 6:04 pm, 29th January 2018

The noble Lord asks a question that is right at the extremity of my familiarity with the subject, but I looked it up and the noble Lord is quite right. There was an independent inquiry in the early 2000s by the former Solicitor-General for England and Wales, Lord Archer. I understand that it held no legal or official status at all. It was unable to subpoena witnesses or demand the disclosure of documents, but it looked at some of the issues and discovered that some important documents had been destroyed. There were issues of missing evidence. After he reported, Lord Jenkin, who was also a former Secretary of State, voiced his difficulties about obtaining documents for the inquiry. That inquiry is available and will be available to the statutory inquiry. I hope that it will be able to build on some of the work that Lord Archer undertook.