Urgent Question in the House of Lords
30th January 2018
Infected Blood Inquiry website and Terms of Reference Consultation launched
3rd March 2018
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Chairperson announced for UK-wide Public Inquiry

Sir Brian Langstaff, a High Court judge in England, has just been announced as the Chair of the contaminated blood inquiry.

His formal tenure will begin on 1 May this year but in the meantime he is initiating a further consultation into the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington MP, has released as written statement to Parliament (shown below).

The statement is welcome BUT, again, it does not state the Inquiry will look at the aftermath and allegations of cover-up and wrong-doing by officials and others. This is a crucial aspect that requires to be addressed for the victims and their families to feel any sense of justice.

David Lidington’s written statment to Parliament:

“I am announcing today the appointment of Sir Brian Langstaff to head the public inquiry into the Infected Blood scandal. The inquiry will be established under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with full powers, including the power to compel the ​production of documents, and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath.

In relation to the appointment of the Chair, the Lord Chief Justice was asked to recommend a judge who, in his view, would be best suited to the task. The Lord Chief Justice recommended Sir Brian Langstaff: a highly respected and hugely experienced High Court judge. I have accepted the Lord Chief Justice’s recommendation.

Sir Brian will be the full time Chair of the Inquiry from 1 May following his retirement from the High Court. However, in order that those who have been affected by this tragedy face no further undue delay, he will use the intervening period to conduct a further consultation on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference

The infected blood scandal of the ’70s and ’80s was an appalling tragedy that should never have happened. The victims of this tragedy who have endured so much pain and hardship deserve answers. It is crucial that their views are properly reflected in the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. He will want to listen carefully to the voices of those that have suffered before making a recommendation to me on what the scope of the Inquiry should be. I will return to Parliament with the final terms of reference as soon as this process has been completed.

The Government will ensure that the inquiry has the resources that it needs to complete its work. The Inquiry will, of course, also be independent of the Government.

It is very important that the Inquiry can identify why and how this tragedy occurred and provide answers for the all victims who have suffered so terribly, and can identify lessons to be learned so that a tragedy of this scale can never happen again.”

 

Diana Johnson, Co-Chair of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood released a statement and e-mailed SIBF earlier today:

‘Dear Colleagues,

In a Written Ministerial Statement which has just been published, the Government has announced that Sir Brian Langstaff, a High Court judge, will be the Chair of the contaminated blood inquiry.

I have just released a statement to the press on his appointment (see below). I expect to arrange an APPG meeting in the next few weeks once it is clearer how he will be engaging with the community affected, so expect a further email from me with meeting dates.

I would like to personally thank everyone affected for all you have done to get us to this historic stage in the campaign. I hope that with the appointment of a Chair, you and your families might soon get the answers and the justice which you have been denied for many decades. I also think this is a time of reflection on the many thousands who sadly lost their lives before this inquiry was announced.

Yours sincerely,

Diana Johnson MP

Labour Member of Parliament for Hull North and Co-Chair of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood’

 

Diana Johnson MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Hull North and Co-Chair of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, said:

“On behalf of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, I am pleased that an announcement has been made appointing Sir Brian Langstaff to Chair the Contaminated Blood Inquiry.

“This is an historic moment which only came about as a result of decades of determined campaigning from all those affected. But we should also pause to reflect on the over 2,400 others who sadly lost their lives before this announcement was made.

“As the people affected by this tragedy have often said: this inquiry cannot give them back their health, but it can give them back their dignity. They know it will never bring back lost loved ones or reverse decades of neglect, but they are now putting their trust in Sir Brian Langstaff that he will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of truth, answers and justice.

“To do this, I expect the Inquiry will want to put first and foremost the families impacted by this disaster; that it will receive the funding necessary to engage closely with those affected; and that the Minister will give the Chair the freedom to set the Terms of Reference independently, in consultation with those affected.”

6 Comments

  1. victim says:

    Penrose Mk2.. A much bigger budget, a watered down remit, no forthcoming NHS culpability or resulting criminal proceedings for known NHS-driven. criminal acts, and a tokenistic effort which takes no account of victims wishes at all..

    Non- investigation of any NHS / Health Service culpability or wrongdoing, will of course shut the door on hundreds (or more ) possible court compensation claims, which would charge the Govt./ Health Service with widespread neglect and dereliction of their ‘duty of care’ to we victims.. Findings of criminal acts, would obviously be much more problematic expensive for them. Easy now, for them to just ‘sweep it all under the carpet’.

    There may of course be a few more half-hearted and patently obvious recommendations in the offing.. (they could hardly manage any less than Penrose)

    And the timescale for the resolution of all these amazing ‘new’ investigative revelations?
    Sometime in the far distant future, I imagine, after multi-millions more have been wasted, on briefs, lawyers and Queen’s Council, (£150 per hour for a junior, to more than £450 per hour for a barrister. (all plus Vat) Queen’s Council of course, write their own telephone number-type hourly fees.

    Why am I completely underwhelmed by this total travesty of justice, and more disgraceful incompetence writ large?
    It must be patently obvious to all and sundry by now, that ‘they’re jist tryin’ it on’..

  2. victim says:

    Findings of criminal acts, would obviously be much more problematic and expensive for them.

  3. anon says:

    A retired judge .
    Jobs for the boys again nice little retirement pay.
    All that’s going to happen here I no blame on anyone just a sorry for what happened.
    Yes we all know it shouldn’t have happened.
    But it did the nhs committed this crime.
    If mistakes are made then they are duty bound to pay.
    A lot of suffering by us all and life’s lost.
    A real tradegy for all families .
    Some say lost life can be deemed as murder by infected blood . They must now pay up to all infected people and families who have lost love ones.
    It’s a real same not to see your kids and grand kids
    Life is valuable no price can bring it back

  4. Anon says:

    When the prime minister promised a judge would be appointed before Christmas did she mean he won’t be starting till May

    looking bad delay and looking for ways to squirm out.
    Big disappoint ahead

  5. Anonymous says:

    The criteria of eligibility for the Scottish payment scheme “country of infection” is totally discriminatory , unequal and not inclusive of scottish citizens human rights .This decision was totally driven by the haemophiliac society. Where those involved in decision of eligibility aware of the haemophiliac society collusion in the uk government’s cover up

    • Anonymous says:

      we know there has been a cover up, ok all affected should make sure the terms of reference include all heath ministers from 1970’s called first, all documents that have come to the fore since previous inquiries that sir David Owen’s lost documents be considered as perverting the course of justice ,and the cover up in settling previous cases out of court and the then minister being advised by Lawyers that other cases would be difficult to defend . Also doctors and consultants and professionals around early 80’s who new they were using blood that was suspect all to do with the fact supplies were not available in the uk and Sir David Owens recommendations were ignored without parliament being made aware, Of course the drug companies and the people responsible for continuing not to stop the use of blood collected from drug users prisoners prostitutes prior to 1980’s would have saved many lives and lots of suffering for those still alive and their families . Lets hope every body wants the terms of reference to be honest thorough truthful not like previous enquiry’s Penrose (WHITWASH) Archer which had little powers but heavily suspected a cover up. Finally a recommendation for compensation for all that have been denied justice for over thirty years . To the government of the day please don’t abuse us anymore by ignoring the people’s wishes let the Chairperson tell you what he wants and keep your hands off natural justice Mr T

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