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Judith presents petition on infected blood inquiry

Last week, Judith presented a petition signed by residents from Bradford South which read:

"The petition declares that people who received infected blood and who have suffered as a consequence have, along with their families, waited far too long for redress.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to implement the recommendations in the Second Interim Report of the Infected Blood Inquiry without delay."

Presenting the petition to Parliament, Judith said:

"I join a number of Honourable Members in presenting a petition in the same terms on behalf of my constituents in Bradford South, although I know that it reflects feelings that are widespread across the country. The petition reflects concerns across Bradford South that the Government have yet to implement both the final infected blood inquiry recommendations and compensation, and the will of this House of Commons, which was expressed on 4 December 2023."

Responding, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, John Glenn MP said:

"The Government is grateful to the Hon. Member for Bradford South, Judith Cummins MP, for submitting the petition on behalf of her constituents concerning the Government’s response to the Infected Blood Inquiry, and particularly the issue of final compensation recommendations made by Sir Brian Langstaff.

The Government acknowledge that victims of Infected Blood have been waiting far too long to see justice and we are progressing this work with urgency.

The Government has accepted the moral case for compensation and, starting in October 2022, made interim payments of £100,000 available to chronic infected beneficiaries and bereaved partners registered with existing support schemes. These payments continue to be made to eligible beneficiaries upon being accepted onto the schemes.

However, we recognise there is more still to be done. On 30 April, Government amendments were added to the Victims and Prisoners Bill. The Government amendments impose a duty on the Government to establish an Infected Blood Compensation Scheme. It also establishes a new arms-length body, named the Infected Blood Compensation Authority, to deliver the compensation scheme. The Authority will operate on a UK-wide basis to ensure parity and consistency. The Government also agreed to deliver the regulations establishing an Infected Blood Compensation Scheme within 3 months of Royal Assent. This demonstrates our absolute commitment to pay compensation to those infected and affected by Infected Blood.

Additionally, in order to progress this work as swiftly as possible, a shadow body will be established by 20 May, led by an interim chief executive. This will be critical to getting the practical work in place to ensure the Infected Blood Compensation Authority can be fully operational as soon as possible. The shadow body will be able to begin work such as implementing IT systems and appointing staff which are needed for assessing and delivering compensation payments as quickly as possible.

The Government amendment also includes a statutory duty to make interim payments of £100,000 to estates of deceased infected people who were registered with existing or former support schemes (where previous interim payments have not already been made to infected

individuals or their bereaved partners). This is an important step forward to get substantial compensation into the hands of families of victims of infected blood.

The Government will make a substantive update to Parliament responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s recommendations on compensation as soon as possible following 20 May. It is important that the Government awaits the findings of the Inquiry’s final report, but Ministers are clear that the Inquiry's recommendations should form the basis of any response."


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