Theresa May launches inquiry into contaminated blood scandal

12 July, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Garry Little
  • A UK-wide inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal that left at least 2,400 people dead the prime minister has confirmed. AGENCIES

The government is to hold a full inquiry into how thousands of people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV following blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s, Downing Street has announced.

"Jeremy Hunt said that 2,400 people had died and it was necessary to establish the causes of this appalling injustice", May's spokesperson said at a briefing, as quoted by the Evening Standard newspaper.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We welcome the prime minister's confirmation that an inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal".

"Two thousand four hundred people died as a result of this contaminated blood, and it's caused unbelievable stress to many, many more people", the Islington North MP said. "So we mustn't pat ourselves on the back and imagine that the United Kingdom product was somehow safe and this was all due to the USA", she told the Press Association.

"I thought I would be dead before this came out, I really thought I would be long gone". Some of these came from high-risk sources, including prisoners and drug addicts.

At the weekend, former Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who is now mayor of Greater Manchester, told Sky News that he would summon the police if ministers failed to act on the scandal.

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"But now we will finally get to the truth about what happened and find justice for all the victims". This week, six opposition leaders wrote a letter to the Government calling for an inquiry.

Details of the UK-wide investigation have yet to be finalised, and consultations will take place with those people affected as to how best to proceed. It was later discovered that the blood product was produced using the blood of the inmates of the USA prisons, where drug abuse was not rare, which increased the risk of contaminating donor blood.

"It is going to be a wide-ranging inquiry".

"The Prime Minister has earned a place in history as someone who listened on an issue that many had ignored, and put party politics aside in the cause of giving people their basic right to answers", Diana Johnson, a Labor MP who has campaigned on the issue, said in a tweet.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had strong opinions about what form the review should take, as he said it needed to be a: "broad, public, inquisitive inquiry".

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