Amendment 119A

Part of Victims and Prisoners Bill - Committee (4th Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 9:00 pm on 7 February 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Sanderson of Welton Baroness Sanderson of Welton Conservative 9:00, 7 February 2024

My Lords, on the amendments in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Wills, in some of the issues he raised—infected blood or sodium valproate—people raised the alarm and were not listened to over decades; it can take a long time for the enormity and scale of a tragedy to come to light. That is a defining theme for many of the issues that could potentially be looked at by the IPA. I fully support those amendments.

On Amendment 120, a concern about the way the IPA has been set up is the point about major incidents. It will kick in when there is a major incident, such as Hillsborough or Grenfell. In such an instance, there is a very good chance there will be a public inquiry; I think the public would demand it. There has always been a concern about incidents that perhaps do not meet that bar: there will not be a public inquiry but something appalling has happened and, as in the nature of this amendment, it reveals a systemic failure and it may be repeated. It would need the support of the IPA. Looking at the make-up of this role, I think we should be very careful not to overlook those incidents in our desire to talk only about major incidents.