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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Andy Burnham to give evidence at Infected Blood Inquiry

Andy Burnham to give evidence at Infected Blood Inquiry


The Manchester mayor called the scandal a "criminal cover-up on an industrial scale" in 2017

The mayor of Greater Manchester and former secretary of state for health, Andy Burnham, will give evidence to the UK's largest-ever public inquiry on Friday (15 July) from 10 am at Aldwych House, London. Hearings will be streamed live on the Inquiry's YoutTube channel.

In 2017, Burnham famously used his last speech in parliament to call the contaminated blood scandal a "criminal cover-up on an industrial scale".

Among other areas, Burnham will be asked about his time as health secretary during 2009 to 2010.

In his written statement, published ahead of his evidence, Burnham said information provided to him by department of health officials about the scandal was inaccurate. Burnham claimed officials did want the scandal to be "in any way revisited" and prepared "strong defensive lines".

Burnham's 2017 speech to parliament was a huge step forward for victims of the contaminated blood scandal. He presented evidence of unethical experiments on patients, and stated: "In other words, it is saying: let us find out whether there is "infectivity" – to use its word – in the products by using patients as guinea pigs, without regard for the consequences. That is proof, in my view, of negligence of a very serious kind."

In the UK, approximately 4,000 people with haemophilia were infected with the liver-destroying Hepatitis C virus through Factor VIII blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. 1,243 of them were also infected with HIV. Thousands have since died.