Parliament This Week - Fri 24th November
On 22/11/17 Labour MP Jo Platt asked Damian Green (the Inquiries responsible Minister) if "he will clarify whether he intends to appoint an inquiry chair by the end of the year?"
The response given by the cabinet office Minister was "The hon. Lady raises a very serious point. The contaminated blood scandal of the ’70s and ’80s was an appalling tragedy that should not have happened. She will, I am sure, appreciate that not only did we receive 800 responses to the consultation but, at the request of the all-party parliamentary group on haemophilia and contaminated blood, the end of that consultation was delayed until the end of October. All the decisions on the chair and the other things that need to be determined will, as I have already committed, be set out to the House before the Christmas recess."
On the same day Jo also asked the Minister "what recent progress has been made on the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal."
Damian Green advised that "Following a consultation, I announced on 3 November that this will be a statutory Inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act, sponsored by the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office is now analysing over 800 consultation responses, and I will make a further statement before Christmas on the setting up of the Inquiry."
On 21/11/17 Diana asked Health Minister, Jackie Doyle-Price the following: "if he will ensure that all files held by (a) the Macfarlane Trust, (b) the Caxton Foundation, (c) the Eileen Trust, (d) the Skipton Trust and (e) MFET Ltd are made available to the contaminated blood inquiry in the event that those bodies are decommissioned in the 2018-19 fiscal year."
The Minister replied that "On 3 November the Cabinet Office made a Written Ministerial Statement stating that the inquiry would take a statutory form, under the Inquiries Act 2005, and that Cabinet Office would be the sponsoring department. The Terms of Reference of the inquiry will therefore be agreed between Cabinet Office Ministers and the inquiry Chair. A statutory inquiry held under the Inquiries Act 2005 has the power to compel witnesses to share relevant files and give evidence. Officials are working with the former infected blood payment schemes to confirm arrangements for the long term storage and access to records once the schemes have closed."