James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Rishi Sunak has failed to embrace an opportunity to advance justice for victims of the infected blood scandal
26 July 2023, 20:05
My father died from AIDS when I was four years old. I'm now thirty-three, and Rishi Sunak's evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry today was yet another gut-punch.
I felt profound disappointment and dismay listening to the Prime Minister, not only as a bereaved family member but also as a campaigner who hears of the trauma of victims and other bereaved families daily.
Sunak offered no new information, made no commitments, and most distressingly, he failed to embrace an opportunity to advance justice for victims and their families.
In our letter to No10 on Monday, we implored for swift action in line with the Inquiry's recommendations.
Those recommendations aren't just about compensation - they symbolise the recognition and acknowledgement of the immeasurable loss endured by victims of the Infected Blood Scandal.
Yet, it seems our plea fell on deaf ears.
I can't help but think back to July 2022 when Rishi Sunak, during his bid for leadership, pledged to match words with action regarding this tragic injustice. His words gave us hope, but today they ring hollow, their promise unfulfilled.
Recommendations from the Inquiry to provide fair compensation have become lost in bureaucratic inertia. Victims and their families continue to feel the added hurt of delay.
We have waited over three months since the Inquiry's recommendations were released. Each day without action is another day of additional suffering.
In my role, I meet many who have endured pain and loss due to the scandal. Their stories echo the human cost of this preventable tragedy. The fight is for recognition, for justice, and for the assurance that their pain matters.
Today, I implore Prime Minister Sunak once more. Honour your words from last year; turn them into action. Accept and implement the final compensation recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry. We can no longer afford to wait. The power to deliver justice is in your hands.
There's an old cliche about politicians saying anything to get into power and then not delivering once they have that power.
This isn't about party politics, the whole House agrees this needs to be put right, but it will take a PM who sticks to their word.