Earlier this week, on the 4th of December, the Government was defeated in the Commons for the first time since 2019 on a vote on Diana Johnson’s amendment to require ministers to set up a body to deliver compensation to the victims of the Infected Blood Scandal within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law.

As many of you may be aware, the Infected Blood Scandal led to tens of thousands of people in the 1970s and 1980s being infected with blood contaminated with HIV or Hepatitis C when receiving blood transfusions or other forms of healthcare. More than 3000 people have died as a result of this since, and many others still are affected by the loss and grief that they experienced due to this tragedy.

While defeating the Government in the Commons is always worth celebrating, this one in particular is significant. Under the initial compensation scheme, only victims themselves or bereaved partners would receive compensation. Thanks to this amendment, a full compensation scheme will be set up within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law, and children, siblings and parents will be able to receive compensation.

This is about so much more than just financial compensation. This is a long-overdue recognition of the pain and suffering of the victims and those related to the victims.

I am also glad that Diana Johnson, who has been a champion for those affected, has finally had her hard work deliver such a momentous victory.

The Bill will now go to the Lords before it becomes law. I will continue to raise this issue when I have the chance, and look forward to holding the Government to account as they administer the compensation scheme.

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