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New Forest East MP Sir Julian Lewis among 22 MPs who voted to amend the Victims and Prisoners Bill to speed up compensation to victims of the NHS infected blood scandal

A NEW Forest MP was among Tory rebels who helped defeat the government and speed up compensation for victims of the NHS infected blood scandal.

Sir Julian Lewis was one of 22 Conservative MPs who revolted and voted in favour of an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, tabled by Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson.

The vote was passed by 246 votes to 242.

Sir Julian Lewis
Sir Julian Lewis

The amendment will require the government to set up a body to administer compensation within three months of the bill becoming law.

The scandal, now the subject of an inquiry, unfolded in the late 1970s and early 1980s, after around 4,800 people with blood-clotting disorder haemophilia were given blood infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

The government had previously said there was “a moral case” for compensating victims of the scandal.

However, it said it wanted to wait for the infected blood inquiry to conclude before payments were made.

The inquiry, chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, was originally due to publish its final report last month, but is now expected to deliver its findings in March.

Sir Julian told the A&T he had been first contacted by two constituents affected by the scandal in 2014.

“[Since then] I have supported campaigns on behalf of the victims of the contaminated blood disaster.

“They were gravely injured by the NHS decades ago, and given inadequate support by successive governments.

“There can be no justification for further delay.”

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