7 Political Leaders support compensation for infected Factor VIII & IX - but why hasn't it happened already?

The leaders of seven political parties have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May which calls on the Government to provide compensation to the victims and families of infected Factor VIII and IX plasma-derived medicines which were manufactured, imported and distributed by the state in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Co-signing the letter is: Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Ian Blackford (SNP), Vince Cable (Lib Dems), Nigel Dodds (DUP), Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru), Caroline Lucas (Green Party) and Heidi Allen (Change UK).

Crucially, the letter means that if all parties voted with their leader on the issue, the majority of parliament would vote to compensate victims and families. It would be expected that some Conservative MP’s would also vote to support a bill to compensate, further increasing the majority.

The history is complex, Civil Servants and successive governments of all parties have long held the view that the state does not compensate for what it describes as “non-negligent harm” because they essentially fear this could “set a precedent” - you compensate one group of people and then you have to explain to those involved in other incidents why they’re different. This is a problem for Government but the solution to the problem is rather simple.

The Government must accept it’s legal liability for the manufacture, importation and distribution of infected Factor VIII & IX Concentrates in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It is within the Prime Ministers gift to accept responsibility on behalf of the state.

A full copy of the letter sent can be found here.

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