'I cannot overstate the amount of trauma': Infected blood scandal victim advocates for justice and compensation

5 December 2023, 10:29

Nick Ferrari is joined by infected blood scandal victim Andrew Evans

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

After the government agreed to victim payouts, Andrew Evans, a survivor of the infected blood scandal, revealed the emotional toll of the condition.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The government faced a defeat over an amendment to extend interim payouts to more victims of the infected blood scandal.

At least 30 Tory MPs back the adjustment, with backbenchers set to join forces with Labour on payouts over the scandal.

Andrew told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast how he was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C when he was five years old in 1983 as a result of the scandal, adding that it has been "all-encompassing" throughout his life.

He said: "I developed AIDS at the age of 18 and spent most of my former two years in hospital when I came out of the hospital my place in the world was difficult to find.

"My peers had moved on without me, those formative years were lost and so I dedicated myself to trying to find truth and justice about the scandal."

Labour's shadow minister for victims and sentencing Kevin Brennan has also tabled an amendment that would require the government to respond to the final report of the independent Infected Blood Inquiry within 25 days.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves commented: "This is not a party political issue...All of us have a responsibility to act now to address this historic wrong."

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer indicated on Monday that ministers are unlikely to shift positions, insisting that it was "appropriate" to wait until the ongoing inquiry has concluded.

Read more: 'The family imploded': Son of haemophiliac tells Andrew Marr how infected blood scandal tore his family apart

Andrew set up the campaign group, Tainted Blood in 2006 and since then has been calling for a public inquiry, a full apology, and compensation for all victims and their families.

Speaking about his emotional health, he told Nick: "I cannot overstate the amount of trauma that it has caused over my lifetime.

"I'm currently on very high doses of anti-depressants, that's mainly the cause of Hepatitis C treatment that I had to go through about a decade ago which altered my brain chemistry but in addition to that the stresses and strains of lifelong medications and the illnesses that come along with it."

An independent inquiry into the scandal was due to publish its final report this autumn but the document will now be published in March 2024 due to the "sheer volume and scale of the material".

Under an initial scheme, only victims themselves or bereaved partners can receive an interim payment of around £100,000.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will decide which amendments MPs will vote on later.

Read more: Perhaps the government will apologise once the Infected Blood Inquiry report is published, dare we hold our breath?

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Exclusive
Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

Exclusive
US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari