“Thank you for your letter of 14 July, regarding the commitment I made that the Government will hold an inquiry into the events surrounding infected blood.
I know that the contaminated blood tragedy of the 1970’s and 1980’s has caused unimaginable hardship and pain for those affected. The two previous inquiries on this issue, the privately funded Archer Report and the Scottish Government funded Penrose Inquiry Report, did not go far enough to provide answers that they want and to get to the truth of what happened.
Ministers at the Department of Health are particularly keen to engage with those affected and their families, and to hear their views on the style and scope of the independent inquiry, including on the involvement of the Department of Health.
Whatever arrangements are finally agreed, I will make sure that robust safeguards are in place to guarantee independence. The Department of Health are in discussions with the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team about this, and I can assure you that I am committed to the inquiry being properly supported and transparent. Like you, I want the inquiry to establish as quickly as possible under appropriate leadership, to be able to do right by those affected.
As we have not yet decided on the format, it is too early for those with evidence to submit it. However, I will let you and others know how to do this as soon as we are able. I would urge anyone who has evidence of criminality to take it to the police as soon as possible.
I would like to keep you and the Parliament closely informed of progress on the inquiry, and will provide more information when the House returns.
I hope this reassures you and I continue to take this important matter very seriously.”
Diana Johnson MP’s reply can be found here.