Dame Diana Johnson MP responds to the news
Dame Diana Johnson MP responds to the news

This week saw a historic vote in Parliament which brings us closer to justice for victims of the contaminated blood scandal. Labour’s Dame Diane Johnson MP put forward an amendment to stop pipelining the process of establishing a proper system to determine support to those affected, and speed up action.

To our surprise, rather an accept the wholly reasonable amendment, the Conservative Government doubled down and whipped their MPs to vote against, literally asking them to defend indefinite delays to righting this wrong. They lost by 4 votes, despite still holding a significant parliamentary majority, partly because a significant number of Conservative MPs appear to have given up turning up to vote or to work entirely.

The Infected Blood Scandal is an appalling injustice which has badly affected several of my constituents. I want to ensure that justice and compensation for victims and their families is delivered urgently. They have already waited long enough.

As with many long social justice battles, this campaign has seen one step forward and two steps back. Back in 2017, Theresa May announced a Public Inquiry, chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.  The Inquiry has been running since 2018 and, following a recent delay, the final report is now due to be published by Spring 2024. An interim payment of £100,000 for victims and affected partners was announced in August 2022, based on Sir Brian recommendations.

And yet, the Government have not made a final decision on compensation and will not make public any further detail until after the publication of the final report. The consequences for those affected by blood contamination are widespread and painful. In my view it is essential that victims are compensated as soon as possible. They have suffered enough. It’s time to see a firm commitment from the Government to a deadline on delivering on a compensation scheme. We have a responsibility to act now to address this historic wrong.

Speaking on this issue on behalf of affected constituents in the House of Commons as far back as seven years ago, I noted that “people’s entire lives have been grievously affected… the chilling truth of this tragedy is that around half of the estimated five thousand haemophiliacs who were infected have already died without ever seeing justice.”

This is one of the worst chapters in public heath and NHS care in Britain’s history. It’s time not just to learn lessons but to attempt to put the state’s mistake right. I’m delighted this week’s vote takes us a step closer.

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search