Contaminated blood inquiry

Read my letter to party leaders on the contaminated blood scandal. 

The contaminated blood scandal is perhaps the greatest untold injustice in the history of our country. Thousands of people died, and the lives of many more families were destroyed, through the negligence of public bodies. 

Although there are many parallels with Hillsborough, there are important differences too. 

The contaminated blood scandal wasn't a single event on a single day, instead it happened over a period of time. The scandal affected people in all parts of the country and from all walks of life. These people weren't able to organise in the same way the Hillsborough campaigners were – and as a consequence their story has remained largely untold. 

Yesterday, in what was my last speech to the House of Commons, I presented evidence which I believe, put together, amounts to a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale. You can read my speech in full here.

With a General Election approaching we now have the opportunity to give the victims of this scandal what they never had – the truth. 

My purpose in writing to you today is to request all major political parties in the UK make a manifesto commitment to set up a Hillsborough-style inquiry into contaminated blood. In my experience of Hillsborough, this type of inquiry is the most effective way to give victims the full truth as quickly and as effectively as possible. 

In my view, the individual cases I have outlined are part of a more systematic cover-up and can only be understood as part of it, but if the Government refuses to set up this type of inquiry, referring my evidence to the police is the next correct step. 

Time is not on the victims’ side, so if the newly elected Government after the general election, fails to set up such a process by the time the House rises for the summer recess, I will refer my evidence to the police and request that investigation. 

For too long, successive governments have failed the victims of contaminated blood, but as with Hillsborough, it is never too late to do the right thing. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely 

ANDY BURNHAM