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Labour MP vows to continue to fight for infected blood victims

·2 min read

A Labour MP has vowed to continue to fight battles for victims of the infected blood scandal and people with bleeding disorders once a public inquiry has concluded.

Diana Johnson, who is MP for Kingston upon Hull North, said she hopes recommendations from the Infected Blood Inquiry will make it possible for people to “move on” but added that campaigning for those affected by the scandal will continue.

She made the comments after being presented with a Damehood for her charitable and political service, in particular for her advocacy relating to contaminated blood, by the Duke of Cambridge at an investiture ceremony.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Dame Diana said campaigning for those affected by the scandal will continue (Steve Parsons/PA)

The event, held at Windsor Castle, also saw Peter Betts, who previously was the UK and EU lead negotiator in UN climate agreements, receive a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) for his services to international climate change agreements.

The Infected Blood Inquiry, which is chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, is examining how thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dame Diana, who co-chair the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, told the PA news agency: “We’re hoping that the inquiry will report next year.

“For people with bleeding disorders, there are still issues that they are facing today around the treatments available to them.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Peter Betts from London with his award after he was made a Companion Order Of The Bath by the Duke of Cambridge (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Certainly, for people who received infected blood, there is a whole group of people there who sadly have developed Hepatitis C and other conditions. So I think this (campaigning) will go on.

“But clearly, we’re hoping that the recommendations from Sir Brian will be able to draw a line under this for people and people will be able to move on. But I think the APPG will carry on and I’m sure we’ll be fighting battles in the future as well.”

She added that she hoped there would be financial compensation for those affected by the scandal and that the recommendations from Sir Brian will answer any questions the survivors and families of victims may have.

Other people who received honours at the ceremony included Jay Flynn, who was presented with an MBE after raising more than £1 million for charities since March 2020 through an online pub quiz, and Amelia Collins-Patel, who was presented with an MBE for her voluntary services to Children and Young People in the community during Covid-19.

Describing how it felt to receive her honour, Dame Diana said: “I feel wonderful. It was an amazing experience. To be presented with this from the future king was just amazing.”

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