Rishi Sunak heckled at Infected Blood Inquiry during compensation questioning

Rishi Sunak heckled at Infected Blood Inquiry

Rishi Sunak was greeted with boos, jeers and heckles at the Infected Blood Inquiry this afternoon as he faced cross-examination over government failure to organise proper compensation.

Mr Sunak was asked whether it was “good enough” that there was no “concrete framework” in sight to properly compensate those whose lives were ruined by the blood scandal.

As he started answering the question with a clearly evasive answer, there were audible cries of “no” along with heckling from the 500-strong audience.

Mr Sunak waited for the anger to subside, before repeating that the Government is working as “quickly as possible” to resolve the issues, only to be greeted with further verbal opposition.

The Chair of the inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, reminded those in attendance that they should be respectful to witnesses, even though the debate may be “emotive”.

READ MORE John Major leaves furious victims gasping over blood comment

Sir Brian also intervened to clarify whether Rishi Sunak wishes compensation could have been resolved sooner.

Mr Sunak said: “If it was a simple matter, no one would have called for an inquiry”.

“Everyone wants to see a swift a resolution to this appalling tragedy as possible”.

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The Prime Minister said that reading the testimonies of those infected and affected by the scandal had been “moving”.

He said: “Over decades, justice has been denied to people, which is why I’m pleased by the work the inquiry is doing”.

The main bulk of initial questions concerned a letter from Penny Mordaunt, the Paymaster General, who raised the issues of inquiry finding, progress of the inquiry and financial compensation to victims with senior ministers.

Mr Sunak said he hadn’t seen the letter personally at the time and it was dealt with by Treasury officials.

Ms Mordaunt wrote that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

Frustration and anger at the Government’s slow pace was evident outside the inquiry building, where protestors had gathered from 12pm.

The Haemophilia Society said: “The prime minister must commit to paying full compensation and recognise the suffering and loss this scandal continues to cause”.

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