Grant Shapps 'angry inside' over infected blood scandal ahead of inquiry report

The defence secretary has said he is "angry inside" over the infected blood scandal ahead of a long-waited report into the decades-long injustice.

Grant Shapps told Sky News he agreed it had been one of the most "shameful failures" of government and said he was dismayed by the "lack of anybody taking responsibility".

The findings of a public inquiry into the scandal, chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, are due to be published on Monday.

From 1970 to the 1990s, tens of thousands of people were infected with contaminated blood through blood products or blood transfusions given via the NHS. People were infected with hepatitis or HIV - in some cases with both.

An estimated 3,000 people died as a result.

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Mr Shapps told Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips that the scandal was a "massive injustice which needs to be put right" and said the government would act on the report.

He said that while he was yet to see the report, he hoped it would finally allow families' pain and loss to be acknowledged and for the government to properly respond.

Mr Shapps said he had spoken to relatives of several victims, including a couple who had lost their son, and said their stories made feel him "angry inside".

He added: "It just made me angry to know they had lost their son without anyone ever taking responsibility, so I think this is why this report tomorrow is very important."

Successive governments have been blamed for failing to take responsibility and the current government has been accused of trying to delay compensation to victims after an inquiry was first set up by Theresa May in 2017.

It is estimated that the compensation bill could now exceed £10m.

The defence secretary admitted the process of delivering payouts to victims had gone on for "so long".

He added: "This is a massive injustice which needs to be put right.

"And I know the government said we will. The report tomorrow, I think, will be the day for that family and others and I know the government will want to respond quickly."

Asked whether Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would apologise to the victims, Mr Shapps said: "I don't want to mislead because I don't have special insight into that."

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Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting also told Trevor Phillips that he expected "successive governments" to be criticised in the report by Sir Brian.

"Everyone has got their responsibility to bear in this appalling scandal and we have got a shared responsibility to put it right," he said.

"The moment to act can't come soon enough."

Sir Brian is due to deliver his final report just after midday on Monday.