Amendment 119A

Part of Victims and Prisoners Bill - Committee (4th Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 7 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Wills Lord Wills Labour 9:15, 7 February 2024

My Lords, I am grateful to everyone who has spoken in this short discussion and to the noble Lord, Lord Marks, for his remarks, and particularly for his cogent justifications for these amendments in terms of retrospection, which were an extremely valuable contribution to the debate. I am very grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Sanderson, and to my noble friend Lord Ponsonby, for their support too.

I am also extremely grateful to the Minister for his open mind on this issue, if I may take it that far—or at least a willingness to continue discussion on what is quite a crucial question. I am very happy to do that, and I shall withdraw the amendment shortly.

I just want to say a few words about the Minister’s comments. He stressed the word “wholly”—major incidents that happened wholly in the past. That is a very important word, because it means when the incident no longer has any impact on the victim. In most cases—to think of the bereaved or those who suffered, not necessarily directly but indirectly, as in the examples from both the noble Lord, Lord Marks, and my noble friend Lord Ponsonby—such incidents are by definition not wholly in the past. The postmasters’ suffering is not wholly in past, even though the damage was done in the past. Similarly, for the victims of blood transfusions and their relatives, and the victims of nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, these are ongoing traumas. They are the people who need the support of the independent public advocate.

I am, as I say, very happy to carry on this discussion in the hope that we can find some sort of resolution. A large number of people are still grievously affected by these major incidents, and I hope that this rare legislative opportunity to help them can be seized. With that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 119A withdrawn.

Amendments 119B to 120 not moved.

Clause 28 agreed.