We need it now

As another shameful scandal hits the headlines with the findings of the Infected Blood Inquiry, we are backing urgent calls for Hillsborough Law to be implemented in full in parliament.

Yet again, decades-long systemic lying, denial, cover-up and gaslighting of victims by the state and relevant authorities have been exposed. 

We have heard it before with the Hillsborough disaster, Grenfell, Post Office Horizon and now this. 

More than 3,000 people died over decades, beginning in 1970, after contaminated blood products, imported from the US, were used to treat patients with blood-clotting disorders. According to Sir Brian Langstaff, the chair of the report, the response of successive governments and the NHS has compounded victims’ suffering. The Inquiry, into the worst treatment disaster in UK history, concluded the scandal was “not an accident” but due to “downright deception”.

SOS management committee member Ian Byrne, MP for West Derby, has paid  tribute to the tireless campaigning of the victims and those affected by this scandal. 

He said: “It has been inspiring and moving listening to people’s stories at evidence sessions on public accountability and a privilege to work with contaminated blood campaign groups fighting for a Hillsborough Law.”

We cannot allow any further state cover-ups, which is why a Hillsborough Law must be approved and enter the statute books immediately.

Hillsborough Law

A legal duty of candour on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and proactively cooperate with official investigations and inquiries, bringing to an end the depressingly familiar pattern of cover-ups and concealment.

Assurance that victims of disasters or state-related deaths are entitled to parity of legal representation during inquests and inquiries. This will mean bereaved families can access public funding, just as public money is used to support government and public authority lawyers.