Inquiry into contaminated blood scandal to be launched

In the 1970s and 1980s, at least 2,400 people died after they were given blood products from overseas that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV.

The Prime Minister's spokesman told a Westminster briefing: "Jeremy Hunt said that 2,400 people had died and it was necessary to establish the causes of this appalling injustice".

Pressure had been growing on May to agree to a public inquiry, and the government's announcement on Tuesday came just hours before Parliament was due to debate the issue.

The PM's official spokesman said the UK-wide inquiry could mirror the Hillsborough investigation with a jury - or be a judge-led statutory probe like Grenfell Tower.

The government is to hold a full inquiry into the "worst NHS treatment" in history which saw more than 2,000 people killed by contaminated blood transfusions.

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"We've called for this so many times and we've always had it thrown back at us".

"This inquiry is long overdue and any attempt to lie betray or fob off haemophiliac victims and their families with scraps from the table will be met with the derision it deserves". Some of these came from high-risk sources, including prisoners and drug addicts.

The reason the people affected by this scandal, led by Haemophilia Wales, feel they now need a public inquiry is simple: it is a quest for the truth.

Today Theresa May said the families of those who died as a result of the contamination of products in the United Kingdom will be consulted about what form an inquiry should take.

At PMQs last week Theresa May said anyone with new information on the scandal should pass it to ministers "so they can properly investigate it".

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"It is going to be a wide-ranging inquiry".

"In the USA, high-risk paid donors were used as well as being collected in prisons increasing the risk of contamination with blood-borne viruses", The Haemophilia Society said.

The debate was granted by Commons Speaker John Bercow at the request of Labour's Diana Johnson, who thanked the PM for acknowledging the need for an inquiry and "putting party politics aside in the cause of giving people their basic right to answers".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the inquiry should have the potential to trigger prosecutions.

"It was obviously a serious systemic failure".

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