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HomePoliticsPM risks 'wrong side of history' in blood scandal

PM risks ‘wrong side of history’ in blood scandal

Opponents argue that the government’s denial of a novel compensation scheme for individuals affected by the NHS-infected blood scandal would place it “on the wrong side of history.”

In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands perished as a result of receiving contaminated blood products for treatment.

In contrast to Conservative MPs’ Monday mutiny, MPs accepted new pay proposals.

If “political will” exists, a new plan could be implemented by the end of the year, according to the Haemophilia Society.

Clive Smith, chairman of the Haemophilia Society, stated that while the government worked “at a snail’s pace” to compensate scandal victims, activists received “warm words.”

“This has never been about politics,” stated Mr. Smith. It has always been about doing the right thing and ensuring justice; no government should dispute this.

They were coerced into doing this against their will, and I fear that Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party will be condemned to an unfavourable place in history and the annals of time, as this should not have been the case.

After Monday night’s vote in the House of Commons, Downing Street stated it was evaluating its options. Further details regarding its compensation plans in the coming weeks will be provided.

The official spokesman for the prime minister stated, “We have accepted the moral case for compensation and recognize that victims are entitled to justice.”

“This tragedy was abhorrent in nature.” We fully comprehend the intensity of emotions.”

During the 1970s and 1980s, contaminated blood products were administered to as many as 30,000 individuals, resulting in over 3,000 fatalities due to HIV or hepatitis C transmission.

As the government has determined that compensating scandal victims is morally justifiable, initial interim payments of £100,000 have been made. This applies to 4,000 surviving victims and bereaved companions.

Under the initial scheme, an interim payment could be granted exclusively to the victims or their bereaved companions.

A thorough plan would be made after the tainted blood inquiry is complete, according to the administration.

“Really overdue”

The inquiry’s chairman, Sir Brian Langstaff, demanded immediate establishment of a comprehensive compensation scheme earlier this year. Furthermore, he proposed that it be expanded to encompass parents who have lost children and bereaved children.

Sir Brian’s inquiry’s final report will be published in March 2024 instead of November 2024.

To expedite the process of compensating victims, Dame Diana Johnson, leader of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood and a member of the Labour Party, proposed an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill.

The amendment requires a new governing body to allocate scheme compensation within three months of bill enactment.

The support of Dame Diana’s amendment by rebel Conservative MPs dealt Rishi Sunak his first defeat as prime minister. The House of Lords must now grant its approval for the legislation before its enactment into law.

Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, which advocates for approximately 1,500 victims and their families, further stated: “The government has been compelled to take action to ensure that the long-awaited final report from Sir Brian Langstaff’s inquiry is promptly delivered in March and to establish an oversight body to ensure that victims and their families receive appropriate compensation.

“At first glance, the government has resolved to fulfil its overdue obligations.

Only time will tell if the government’s pledged measures are accompanied by an end to obfuscation and ingenious delay strategies.

Govt to announce measures, including high skilled worker salary

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