Yesterday it was announced that the Cabinet Office and not the Department of Health would be the sponsoring department to the Inquiry into the Contaminated Blood Scandal and that it would be a full Statutory Inquiry. Victims, families and lawyers were however disappointed that this announcement did not name the Judge who would chair the inquiry.
Campaign groups have urged those affected to write to their MP's to ask the Cabinet Office to immediately appoint a Judge.
Damian Green said yesterday:
On 11 July 2017, the Prime Minister announced that a full, independent public inquiry would be held into the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s, and promised to work with the victims and families of those affected by this tragedy in order to decide what form the inquiry should take. Since then, we have been listening to views from the affected community and have received over 800 written responses to the consultation, which closed on 18 October.
I am keen for the inquiry to proceed as quickly as possible in order to provide those affected with the answers they deserve. Taking into account the views of those who responded to the consultation, I am announcing today that responsibility for setting up the independent inquiry will transfer from the Department of Health to the Cabinet Office with immediate effect. I am also announcing that this will be a full statutory public inquiry, created under the 2005 Inquiries Act.
The Cabinet Office has now taken receipt of all the response to the consultation, which it will analyse thoroughly. This work will be completed as quickly as possible, and a further announcement will follow before the end of the year on the setting up of the inquiry.
Timeline of Inquiry progress so far:
- An Inquiry into the Contaminated Blood Scandal was announced on 11th July 2017 by the Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Consultation on the Inquiry began on 20th July 2017 and was planned to end on 14th August 2017, however, this was subsequently extended by 2 months and the consultation ended on 18th October 2017.
- On 27th October 2017 the 10 Downing Street Press Office confirmed that the Department of Health would not be the "sponsoring department" of the Inquiry. 10 Downing street also said that "an announcement will be made in a few weeks".
- On 3rd November 2017 it was announced that The Cabinet Office would be the "sponsoring department" of the Inquiry into the Contaminated Blood Scandal, the responsible Minister was Damian Green.