Johnson Must Resolve Ongoing HIV Blood Scandal

June 28, 2007 3:13 PM

As Alan Johnson moves from the Department of Education to take up his position as Health Secretary, Jenny Willott MP called for him to back a full Independent Public Inquiry into how thousands of haemophiliacs were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products.

Jenny has been leading the campaign in Parliament and gave evidence to the non-Government backed Archer Inquiry into the affair earlier this month.

Commenting Jenny said:

"The new Government says it is all about change. If this is true, Alan Johnson should begin his position in the Department of Health by ending the refusal to support a public inquiry into this appalling blood scandal.

"Over the last 10 years, the Department of Health has destroyed or lost thousands of relevant documents and provided a pitiful sum of money to haemophiliacs whose lives have been brutally cut short through no fault of their own.

"The ongoing Archer Inquiry has so far not received backing from the Department of Health. As a result, there is no obligation upon the Department to provide information or witnesses to give evidence and answer questions.

"This sordid saga has been going on now for over 20 years. Over 1,000 haemophiliacs have died from the viruses they contracted from blood they received under the NHS. And they still have no answer as to how or why this happened.

"It's high time for a change. I will be writing to Alan Johnson to urge him to back a full Independent Public Inquiry into this affair so that haemophiliacs and their families can finally have the closure they have waited for so long."

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