Statement on meetings with John Glen, the minister with responsibility for the Infected Blood Inquiry

Written by Jessica Bomford, April 17, 2024

Last month, Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House, told MPs that John Glen, the minister with responsibility for the Infected Blood Inquiry, planned to have meetings around the UK to get feedback on a compensation scheme.

No details of who would attend these meetings, what would be discussed or where they would take place have been published.

On 27 March the chairs of the Haemophilia Society, Haemophilia Scotland and Haemophilia NI wrote to Mr Glen asking him to address a series of questions about the government’s position on compensation before embarking on his meetings. They restated their willingness to engage constructively with the minister.

Two weeks ago, Clive Smith, chair of the Haemophilia Society, was approached by the Cabinet Office about a possible meeting. He was asked not to publicise this information while arrangements were being made. The meeting has not been confirmed. Our trustee Conan McIlwrath was also approached to join a meeting in Northern Ireland, along with other campaign group representatives.

In these phone calls the Cabinet Office representative:

  • apologised for how the meetings had been communicated
  • said the minister wanted constructive dialogue
  • said the minister wanted to discuss a significant development.

The representative also said that he would feed back the need for an agenda and that an invitation should be extended to the devolved health minister in Northern Ireland.

It has now become clear that the Cabinet Office has contacted individuals separately about a series of meetings and this has become public knowledge.

It is regrettable that the Cabinet Office has chosen to set up these meetings in such an untransparent manner, fuelling speculation about their purpose.

We remain willing to meet Mr Glen and his team. However, in light of the mistrust caused by Cabinet Office’s handling of these meetings, we suggest that Mr Glen is open about what will be discussed at these meetings and, subject to their consent, who is involved. If the government is planning to announce anything significant, we believe this should be done in a single public statement and not drip-fed through chosen individuals.

When the Cabinet Office confirms a meeting with the Haemophilia Society, we will announce this publicly and be transparent about what is discussed.

We are holding a webinar on 2 May 2024 at 7pm. We want to discuss the current position on campaigning for compensation and arrangements for the Infected Blood Inquiry’s report launch on 20 May. We would be happy to answer any other questions. Full details of how to join the meeting are on our website.