Richard Angell, our Chief Executive, has written to the Paymaster General, The Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP to demand the Government takes the action necessary to implement compensation for the infected blood community now.

Since the Chair of The Infected Blood Inquiry published his full and final recommendations in April on compensation, 50 victims have died.

Justice delayed is justice denied – it is now time to act.

Letter to Jeremy Quin MP (25 October)


Dear Mr Quin,

Your recent written statement to the House of Commons on the Infected Blood Inquiry comes as 50 victims of the contaminated blood scandal have died since Sir Brian Langstaff issued his Second Interim Report – a full and final set of recommendations on a compensation scheme for those infected and affected. The lack of substance in your statement was disappointing to say the least.

While the delay to the whole Inquiry is out of your control, the government’s response to Sir Brian’s aforementioned Second Interim Report is not. How many more people have to die without knowing justice and seeing their families provided for? “Justice delayed, is justice denied” is not merely a slogan: every four days it becomes irrevocably true for another victim. This cannot continue.

You have said repeatedly that the government is working “at pace” on this issue. As officials and ministers have been working on this throughout the summer anticipating publication of the report in November, that work should have continued regardless of the new date of publication. As a result, the remaining months of 2023 should see vital progress announced.

Can you confirm:

  • If the King’s Speech on the 7 November will include the legislation necessary to enable a compensation scheme?
  • If the government have looked again at interim payments for the estates of those who deaths have gone unrecognised, as Sir Brian implored the Chancellor to do when he was before the Inquiry in July?
  • If there will be any published progress on the establishment of a full and final compensation scheme?
  • If the contingent liability that sits on the government books with regards to paying full compensation will be quantified and accounted for in the Autumn Statement?
  • And if the process for verifying and registering the affected community will commence before the end of the year?

Sir Robert Francis KC and Sir Brian have laid the foundation for a system that will make good on the ‘moral case’ that has been accepted by the government and allow for those infected and affected to start the process of closure.

Finally, I am sure you would agree that a consistent approach on compensation for victims of government failures should be a given. Since a compensation offer to the victims of the Horizon Post Office scandal has been made before the relevant final inquiry report, it is only reasonable that the government treat the victims of the infected blood scandal in the same way and expedite action.

Time is of the essence. Please, please demonstrate progress and evidence of the government working at pace.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Angell
Chief Executive, Terrence Higgins Trust