The Infected Blood Inquiry

Part of 4. Topical Questions – in the Senedd at 3:38 pm on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Labour 3:38, 22 May 2024

Thanks very much to the Cabinet Secretary for her response and for her apology on behalf of the Welsh Government, and thank you to Mabon for putting the topical question.

As I said during the business statement yesterday, I was up in Central Hall Westminster when this very important statement was made, and I was with people from south Wales who have suffered and have been affected. I just wanted to use this opportunity to pay tribute to Lynne Kelly, who is a constituent of mine in Cardiff North, and has been the driving force behind our response in Wales. In fact, she first approached me when I was her Member of Parliament, back in 1997, to inform me about the scandal and about the need for an inquiry. She was there on that bus going up to London yesterday, looking after and paying attention to all the people who fought for so long. So, I just wanted to put on record my thanks and admiration for all that she has done.

The message from Sir Brian Langstaff was clear: it wasn't a mistake, it was a cover-up, and it occurred on a monumental scale. Obviously, it's now down to the UK Government, but it's also down to us, to make sure that every single one of those recommendations in the report is carried out. I think yesterday was very important to the people who were there to hear it, and those who watched it on television at home, who were infected or affected. But there was also this fear of, 'Will they do it?', because they've had 40 years of waiting for something to happen and nothing has happened.

Also, the announcement yesterday regarding compensation was very welcome, but it should have been made at least a year ago, when Sir Brian released his first urgent recommendation on compensation. Since then, more than 80 people have died, so people have lost that opportunity to at least have some financial help, and also to feel easy that their families will be supported. 

I think that those delay tactics that have already been seen by the UK Government are really making campaigners worried that they will not get the compensation, and that heels will be dragged about all the recommendations. I think it's been beholden on us, here in Wales, to make sure that this happens. What pressure will the Cabinet Secretary put on the UK Government to ensure that all these recommendations are carried out?