Political leaders call for contaminated blood scandal inquiry

Leaders of six opposition parties have joined together in calling for an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal, which led to patients contracting hepatitis C and HIV. At least 2,400 people are estimated to have died after receiving contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. 

The letter to Prime Minister Theresa May has been signed by the Westminster leaders of Labour, the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Democratic Unionist Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. The leaders cite “recent revelations about alleged criminal conduct”, which were raised in a House of Commons debate by then-Labour MP (now Mayor of Greater Manchester) Andy Burnham in April, and call for a 'Hillsborough-style inquiry' into the scandal.

The six leaders say previous efforts to investigate the scandal in the UK have been "meagre" and that many allegations have been left unaddressed. With indications of "criminal behaviour on the part of at least some officials", an inquiry is now needed to provide vicitms and their families with answers, the leaders write.

Following the letter, Diana Johnson MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, will this afternoon request an emergency debate on the subject. If her application is accepted and agreed, the emergency debate will take place tomorrow (Tuesday 11th July) and last for up to three hours. 

The full letter can be read here