Infected blood scandal victims say Ken Clarke should lose peerage

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By Creative Media News

  • Victims demand Ken Clarke to relinquish peerage over blood scandal
  • Inquiry criticizes Clarke’s misleading claims on infected blood products
  • Clarke described infections as inevitable effects, inquiry contradicts

Lord Clarke was the health secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government and was subjected to severe criticism in an inquiry report.

Former health secretary Ken Clarke has been requested to relinquish his peerage by victims of the infected blood scandal.

Sir Brian Langstaff, the chair of a seven-year inquiry into the controversy that resulted in the infection of over 30,000 Britons with HIV and Hepatitis C through infected blood products between the 1970s and early 1990s, issued a report in which Lord Clarke was the subject of severe criticism.

From 1982 to 1985, the politician served as a health minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government. Subsequently, he served as health secretary from 1988 to 1990 and later as home secretary and chancellor under John Major.

In 1985, he characterized infections as the inevitable adverse effects that can result in unhappiness following numerous medical procedures.

Sir Brian stated that by 1982, there was evidence that infections were occurring through imported blood products, which means that Lord Clarke’s claims were “misleading, lacked candour, and provided false assurances.”

Lord Clarke should be prohibited from remaining in the House of Lords, according to the victims. Boris Johnson granted him a peerage in 2020.

Des Collins, a lawyer who represents 1,500 victims, has stated that he should be deprived of his peerage.

He stated that numerous individuals have not been singled out, but he was one of them.

Maria Armour, who contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion in 1981 but only discovered the condition in 2004, stated, “He should definitely relinquish his peerage.”

He and Jeremy Hunt should be prosecuted for the arrogance and deception they exhibited during the inquiry.

Mel Stride, the current government minister, stated that Lord Clarke has consistently been “a decent and kind man” to him and has always been “very polite and kind to me.”

However, he expressed his “concern” regarding the allegations made against Lord Clarke in the inquiry report, stating that “there are clearly questions that are being posed that need to be addressed.”

Nevertheless, he stated that it is not within his jurisdiction to determine whether Lord Clarke’s peerage should be revoked, as the forfeiture committee is responsible for determining who is admitted to the House of Lords.

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The removal of a peerage is exceedingly uncommon, necessitating an Act of Parliament; however, victims believe that he should relinquish his peerage voluntarily.

Andrew Evans, the chairman and co-founder of the campaign group Tainted Blood, who was the victim, stated, “I believe that Ken has a role to play, but he is certainly not the only one.”

The report also accused Lord Clarke of being “somewhat blasé” when he provided testimony to the inquiry regarding the collection of blood from detainees as recently as 1983.

Sir Brian stated that he was “somewhat complicit” in the suffering of those who were subjected to his “argumentative,” “unfairly dismissive,” and “disparaging” demeanour.

The Thatcher government, as well as subsequent administrations and health secretaries, consistently asserted that infections were “inadvertent” and that patients were provided with “the best treatment available based on the most recent medical advice.”

The inquiry report concluded that the claim was untrue and that the factual foundation for it was unclear.

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