Rishi Sunak Vows Justice for Victims of UK’s Infected Blood Scandal

credit: bbc

London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Rishi Sunak pledges compensation and justice for victims of the UK’s infected blood scandal, acknowledging their decades-long suffering.

Rishi Sunak has promised justice for victims of the UK’s infected blood scandal. Thousands of patients who were contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C through infected blood products in the 1970s and 1980s are anticipated to receive compensation ahead of the next general election.

Mr. Sunak was questioned on the “deeply awful” scandal by Sir Keir Starmer during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 21 February.

Rishi Sunak contended, “I recognize that thousands have suffered for decades.”  He said, “We will do what we need to make it right.”

Last year in July, Rishi Sunak pledged to pay out compensation swiftly to thousands of people impacted by the country’s infected blood scandal.

However, Sunak, who was swearing before an independent inquiry into the public healthcare scandal, was bullied by survivors and affected families when he did not give a clear explanation of when full payments would be paid out.

The Infected Blood Inquiry was founded in 2017 to examine how thousands of patients in the UK were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C through infected blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

The contaminated blood was connected to supplies of a clotting agent called Factor VIII, which British health services purchased from the U.S. Some of the plasma used to make the blood products were outlined to high-risk donors, including prison inmates, who were paid to give blood samples.

Hundreds of survivors and concerned families — some of whom have worked for decades to lobby for government compensation — plugged into a London hotel conference room as Sunak gave proof to the inquiry.

Sunak then realized that victims of what he called an “appalling scandal” had been let down by successive governments over the years. His government was “making progress in resolving the years of injustice,” he emphasized.

“Over a succession of not just years, but decades, justice has been denied to people. They haven’t received the recognition that they need and deserve,” he said.

The inquiry’s chairman, retired judge Brian Langstaff, conveyed to Sunak that affected families needed real action from his government.

“They recognize the evidence they’ve heard this week of work being done but there aren’t any details. There is no timeline. There is no structure yet in place,” Langstaff stated.

Read More: Rishi Sunak Backs Prince Williams Stance on Gaza Conflict

The government stated in 2022 that survivors and grieving partners of those who died will acquire 100,000 pounds (around $129,000) as interim payment. Langstaff suggested last year that compensation should be extended to include more people whose lives were blighted by the humiliation, such as parents who lost their children.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.