How your MP voted as Rishi Sunak suffers first Commons defeat

Rishi Sunak suffered his first Commons defeat after more than Tory MPs rebelled in a crunch vote last night.

A total of 22 Conservative MPs backed a Labour-led amendment to speed up efforts to compensate victims of the infected blood scandal.

The proposal, tabled by Labour former minister Dame Diana Johnson, was approved by 246 votes to 242, majority four.

The amendment requires ministers to establish a body to administer the full compensation scheme within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law.

The defeat came despite a last-ditch attempt by the Government to offer concessions in a bid to placate MPs.

Justice Minister Edward Argar had said the Government would amend the Bill in the Lords to establish the necessary structure and timescales for a delivery body to provide compensation.

But he said it would wait until the final report from the independent Infected Blood Inquiry has been published.

The inquiry into the scandal was due to publish its final report this autumn but the document will now be published in March 2024 due to the “sheer volume and scale of the material”.

Under an initial compensation scheme, only victims themselves or bereaved partners can receive an interim payment of around £100,000.

MPs have urged swifter action given it is estimated someone affected by infected blood dies “every four days”.

Thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dame Diana said her change to the Victims and Prisoners Bill was an “important step forward” in an “extraordinarily long fight for justice”.

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