The Infected Blood Inquiry held its late June hearings last week with four government witnesses over four days. This has led to substantial media coverage:
After the first witness, Sir John Major, gave evidence on Monday 27th June there was substantial and extensive national and regional media coverage during the week. This has included TV news reports from Channel 4, Sky News, BBC News, 5 News, ITV News, The Evening Standard & The Independent; print coverage from The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Ham&High, The Yorkshire Post; and regional radio coverage. The Evening Standard in addition put out a background piece on the Inquiry, as did Al Jazeera and The Hunts Post.
Campaigner and inquiry participant and witness to be featured in hearings this week, Carol Grayson gave comments to three outlets: ITV News Tyne Tees, The Northern Echo and The Newcastle Chronicle, also relating to Sir John Major’s evidence.
The Chair of The Haemophilia Society, Clive Smith, had an appearance with Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio and campaigner and participant Mark Ward had an interview on The News Desk with Tom Eaton Dunn.Campaigner and Inquiry participant Jason Evans featured in an interview with Talk TV and wrote an opinion piece published in The Daily Mail. Sky News business reporter Paul Kelso commented on Twitter that “Major’s comments at @bloodinquiry are inexplicable, so carelessly offensive despite presumably being prepared and briefed. Hard to imagine anyone who’d heard even a single victim’s evidence saying it”.
In respect of Tuesday’s witness Baroness Virginia Bottomley, Channel 5 News reported on her evidence session.
Elsewhere, a letter to the editor from one of the Inquiry recognised legal representatives – solicitor Des Collins was published in the Times. This was in response to an article earlier this week, “Covid inquiry is a pointless waste of money”, by Alice Thomson.
The Inquiry was also mentioned in some detail within an opinion piece by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, published in The Evening Standard. In it, he advocates further for the need to pass the ‘Hillsborough Law’ to strengthen public inquiries.
On Monday 11th July and Tuesday 12th July, Sir Robert Francis QC is due to speak to the Inquiry about his recently-completed Infected Blood Compensation Framework Study – you can read a summary and response to the Framework Study from The Hepatitis C Trust here.
Next week the Inquiry will also hear from two former Secretaries of State for Health, Alan Milburn and Andy Burnham, and from former Department of Health official Rowena Jecock – a full timetable of upcoming hearings is available here.
If we can be a source of information or support on any of the issues raised by the Infected Blood Inquiry, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us on our helpline, 020 7089 6221 or by email to email@example.com.