MPs defeat Government over moves to compensate infected blood scandal victims

(Simon Dawson/PA)
(Simon Dawson/PA) (Simon Dawson/PA)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has suffered a Commons defeat over moves to speed up efforts to compensate victims of the infected blood scandal.

MPs, including more than 30 Conservatives, had signed an amendment requiring ministers to establish a body to administer the full compensation scheme within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law.

The amendment, tabled by Labour’s Dame Diana Johnson, was approved by 246 votes to 242, majority four, prompting cheers in the Commons chamber.

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

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

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