Salford MP Barbara Keeley has attacked the government over its failure to back a Commons amendment concerning the infected blood scandal.
MPs voted in favour of an amendment by Diana Johnson MP by 246 votes to 242, handing a defeat to the government.
A total of 22 Conservative MPs supported the amendment, which requires ministers to establish a body to administer the full compensation scheme within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law.
Fantastic that amendment NC27 tabled by my friend @DianaJohnsonMP won the Commons vote tonight by 246 votes to 242. Hope we finally have won a #victory for the victims of the infected blood scandal https://t.co/zWq4BQmPen
— Barbara Keeley 💙 🇺🇦 (@KeeleyMP) December 4, 2023
MP for Worsley and Eccles South commented: “I voted for my friend Dame Diana Johnson MP’s amendment to the Victims and Prisoner’s Bill to create a body to pay compensation to those infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal.
“I am very pleased that the amendment was passed, despite opposition by the Conservative Government who told their MPs to vote against the measure.
“This will now put in law that within three months of the Victims and Prisoner’s Act passing a body will be established to pay compensation to those infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal.
Barbara Keeley believes the passing of the amendment is a “significant step forward in what has been an extremely long fight for justice”.
She added: “I and my Labour colleagues will keep up the pressure to ensure no more precious time is lost and that those infected and affected can receive long-overdue compensation, recognition and justice.
“This is a significant step forward in what has been an extremely long fight for justice, lasting from at least 2010. However, we cannot relax the pressure on the Conservative Government on this issue.”
The contaminated blood scandal occurred in the 1970s and 1980s in which thousands of people, predominantly those with haemophilia, were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV, also known as the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
Around 2,400 people with bleeding disorders were infected with Hepatitis C, in which 700 people died. Out of 1,250 people infected with HIV, around three-quarters of those have died.
Mrs Keeley added: “There is still much work to be done to bring justice to those affected by contaminated blood or blood products supplied by the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s.
She believes there is still “work to be done to bring justice” to those affected by contaminated blood or blood products supplied by NHS.
“I pay tribute to the victims and families of those affected, as well as to organisations such as the Hepatitis C Trust, the Haemophilia Society, the Terrence Higgins Trust, and Factor 8, who have campaigned tirelessly for justice. It was a privilege to join them in handing a letter from victims to Rishi Sunak at Downing Street on Tuesday 5th December.”